Posted in Encouragement

It’s Never Too Late…


May I just say, it’s never too late?  Speaking from experience, it’s never too late.  There are lots and lots of things in life that can smack you right in the face, and some of them may even make you think there’ll be nothing afterwards, so why go on?  There have been times my heart has hurt so badly in my chest that I was sure I would simply die.  There truly IS such a thing as “heartache” and when your heart aches, my how it can twist your thoughts.  It can make you believe there’s nothing left to live for.  If there’s more pain like this ahead of me, you might think to yourself, what on earth would I want to continue going through it?  Why, why, WHY would I want to go on?

Why?  Because it’s never to late.

You may be a prisoner in a loveless marriage, or you might be a prisoner to drugs or alcohol, or something else that has you in a complete stupor.  I know what that’s like too.  It can make you do things and say things and be a kind of person you only thought you’d only ever hear about, but never be.  It can make you doubt your sanity, and make you doubt there could ever be any good left in you.  And it can make you think they’d be better off without you.  But you can’t give up!

Why?  Because it’s never too late.


You may have lost the one person in your life that meant more to you than any other person or anything else.  You may have watched a loved one breathe their last breath, and at the same time, taking a piece of your heart as they passed on into eternity.  I know that feeling too, I do.  You may have no one else, no friend or family member to turn to, but still, you can’t give up.

Why? Because it’s NEVER TOO LATE!


I know, because I’ve been there.  I’m not going to delve into all of it at this time, because it doesn’t feel like the right time.  But maybe it is THE time, that you need to hear, friend IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

Listen to this… it’s a song that has gotten me through some pretty rough times.  After all…

And let me say before I go… if you are in a place where you just don’t think you can take another step or another breath, and you don’t feel like you have any tears left to cry, PLEASE, talk to someone.  People care, they really do, and I pray right now, that if you’re reading this and you’re in that place, that God will cause someone to cross your path to be just that person.  You don’t have to tell them your life’s history, but sometimes just bouncing thoughts off someone else helps to clear your mind, helps give you a place to send those thoughts that are battering away at you day and night.  It helps.  And don’t forget…

It’s never too late…

Posted in Food

How To Make Biscuits Just Like Mom’s!

Step 1: Follow the recipe to a “T”, the way she told you, showed you how and wrote it down for you (at least half a million times, I swear!).

Step 2: Try your hardest to make sure to do everything the same way she did.

Step 3: FAIL!!

HAHA!  This is how my every attempt at making my mother’s perfect, light, fluffy, mouth-watering biscuits has always turned out. Of course, they don’t teach you this stuff in school!  Home-Ec never saw anything like my mother, coming or going, OR her biscuit making abilities.

I watched her all of my growing up years.  I saw how she did it, morning after morning.  I thought I was taking mental notes of her technique and I just knew I could do it.  Let’s see now, how did she describe it…?

Okay, so you take out your big old vintage McCoy bowl that Dad bought at a flea market in Knoxville…no, wait, I don’t have one of those.  Oh well, any old glass bowl will do, right? It’s not as big as the McCoy, but that’s okay. Check!  Now, fill it about half full of flour, then make a “well” in the middle, shoving all the flour up on the sides of the bowl, but don’t – under any circumstances – go all the way to the bottom of the bowl.  Leave some flour on the bottom too, so that when you put in your wet ingredients it doesn’t stick to the bowl.  Check! (This isn’t so hard, I got this!)  Now drop in some lard…

At this point I’d like to interject that I don’t believe I ever saw my mother with a measuring cup or measuring spoon in her hand.  That’s not to say she didn’t have them.  I think I remember some yellow ones that use to hang above the sink in our kitchen. On a nail. Out of reach. Dusty.

Get my drift?

Now where was I? Oh yeah, the lard. Drop some of that in.  Was it two spoonfuls or two cups? (Just picture me, if you will, standing over my own glass bowl, flour everywhere from trying to make it look like it did in Mom’s bowl, with my head cocked trying to see far enough back in my memory to that lowly lump of lard…)

Oh, sweet Jesus, a good fistful should work!!  Check!  Now how in the name of all that is sacred did she even get the milk out with that lard on her hands?? She did use two hands for the lard, right? I mean, you have to use one hand to grab that fistful, and the other hand to scrape it off of the hand that grabbed it in the first place…

Well, now it occurs to me as I’m washing my hands for the sixty-fourth time,  that maybe that was the dough she was getting off her hands after the mixing.

Have I messed up already?  Oh surely not…

Okay, back with clean hands, putting in the milk.  Oh no, how much of THAT did she use?!  Okay, be calm, just pour til you think it’s enough (I tell myself).  There.  Check!

Alright, now if memory serves me correctly, she said NOT to squeeze or dig your fingers down into the flour.  She said to just squish the lard and milk together and once that’s mixed, you take your fingers and just swirl it around and around and the wet mixture would start to collect flour off the sides of the bowl, and as you just tossed that around, eventually your dough would come together…

And hers did.

Every time.

Flawless and without fail or mess, my mother’s biscuits would just appear.  Once her dough “came together”, she would pat on it for a moment and then begin “choking off” the biscuits.

She laid each one either in a cast iron skillet or a baking sheet and put them all nice and close together.  As if she hadn’t already put magicians to shame with her ninja-bread-making skills, she bent her first two fingers and made knuckle imprints in the tops of every one of them. (Please, Lord, don’t ask, I have no idea).

And then, a few minutes later, out came the sheer perfection…


I know, right? Perfect. I never knew her to burn a batch or make a batch that didn’t get completely devoured.

What happened to mine, you ask?

Oh, haha, well, right after the whole lard and milk thing, I did try to “bring it all together”.  I’ve lost a lot of bowls that way, come to think of it.  Anyway, have you ever seen ‘Edward Scissor Hands’?  Well, you could just as well have called me ‘Stacey Dough Ball Hands’ because at about this point in my own feeble attempt to make those biscuits her way, I would inadvertently wind up standing there, dough covering both hands (none left in the bowl now) screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to “please turn the water on!!”

Annnd, out come the whop biscuits. You know, the ones in the can you have to whop on the side of the counter to bust open?  Yeah.

Hey, step 3 was “FAIL”. Might as well fail all the way.

Ahem, now I can’t exactly close here without saying that I CAN, in fact, make biscuits from scratch.  They are good and tall and fluffy and my family absolutely loves them and my heart gets all warm and fuzzy…  I found the recipe on the side of a baking powder tin and I even use measuring cups and spoons, the whole nine yards.

I can’t help but feel like I’m cheating though, especially when I take the whole lump of dough and plop it in my cast iron skillet and cut it with a knife while it’s still uncooked.  I even learned (the hard way) to brush melted butter on top before doing that, so it doesn’t make a huge mess, use up the last of my patience, and get thrown in the trash. Again.  Anyway, cutting the dough before baking means we can just tear them apart when they come out.

Ah, my nice square “not Mom’s” biscuits.  Not Mom’s, but not bad, so I guess it’s not a complete loss.

I’ll share my own recipe, with pics, a little later.  In the mean time, I’d like to thank my mom for sending me the picture of her biscuits.

I love you Mom!

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Tis The Season…Fighting Springtime Allergies!

Ah… spring has finally sprung!  We’ve awaited its arrival with great anticipation these past few frigid months.  When the snow was falling, all we could think about was warmer weather.  But with warmer weather, comes everything that’s involved with it – good AND bad!

The bonfires are popping up, friends get together a little more often, fishing gear is brought out and picnics and cookouts are planned.  On the other hand, the trees are gaining their foliage, grass needs cutting and all kinds of allergens lurk at our doors. I’m sure most people are already well aware of this.  I know I have been, with my itchy, watery eyes and sneezing has almost become a competition at our house.


One thing I’ve always been known for by my friends and family is coming up with home remedies for just about everything. From researching things that would help my son when he was first diagnosed with autism, to the common cold, I’ve been asked time and again for my recipes, so I thought I would include a few here.  Hopefully they will be of help to someone, or maybe even a few people.

For A Cough

First and foremost, my most requested recipe is one I learned from a youtuber to whom I am subscribed, Herb Mentor.  You can see that video for Garlic Ginger Cough Syrup here.  It’s what started it all for me!

The recipe is quite simple… 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup honey, 5-6 cloves of garlic (either minced very fine or put through a garlic sieve), 1 teaspoon of grated ginger (use the root, it’s better than the powder in this recipe), and a dash of cayenne powder.  Mix it all together and store it in the fridge in a tightly covered container.  It should last a few months, but can be used right away.

As they will tell you in the video, if you want you can strain out the ginger and garlic pieces, but let it steep in the liquid for at least 24 hours, so that all the medicinal properties will be present in the syrup.  Both the honey and the garlic have strong antibacterial properties and can help soothe a sore throat, and also helps with bronchitis.  It does wonders to get rid of those deep coughs that just don’t seem to go away.

Eye Allergies

Another one of my “go-to” remedies is for itchy, burning, watery eyes, and I’ve even seen this help with the pink eye.  Simply take a chamomile tea bag, moisten it and wash your eyes with it.  The relief is felt almost immediately!

Chest and Sinus Congestion

Chamomile tea bags also come in handy for this next remedy that I use quite often.  My children even ask for it specifically when they’re terribly congested, especially in the sinuses.  This works for loosening and getting rid of nasal and head congestion.

Get out your chamomile tea bags – about 5 of them is what I use – and put them in a medium size pot and start them on a heavy boil.  Once the water has come to a rolling boil, remove the pot from the stove and set it on a counter or the table.

Lean your head over the pot and cover your head and the pot with a large bath towel.  At first, it may be so hot and steamy that you have to leave a bit of an opening for some of the steam to be released, but as soon as you’re able, seal it off so that all that steam stays under that towel with you.  Just breath in deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

Within about 10 minutes, you should feel the congestion starting to loosen and will be able to blow your nose and be rid of a good lot of it.  Sometimes, if I’m incredibly congested, I will first have a bowl of soup or something I can sprinkle well with cayenne powder, as this is a great stimulant and starts breaking the stuff up even before you start the steam treatment.  If I’m not mistaken, I remember hearing that cayenne powder fights and kills 41 types of bacteria that can cause congestion!

I am also a huge fan of herbal teas, but sometimes I don’t have all the fancy herbs that some recipes call for.  When I’m starting to feel a cold coming on, or if allergies have me sneezing and coughing, I turn to what I usually have on hand…ginger, garlic, honey, cayenne and turmeric.

You can mix some or all of these, steep them in a cup for about 10-15 minutes, and it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel.  And as far as turmeric goes, I am NEVER without it in my cupboard!  It’s medicinal properties are incredibly powerful and yet probably the least known.  In India, I’ve heard, it is used much the way we have always used antibiotic ointment.  On scratches, abrasions, cuts and so forth.

These are my go-to recipes, and I hope that should you find yourself in the position to need them, that you will try them.  However, as with any kind of home remedy advice, do talk to your doctor first.  Some herbs can interfere with medication you may be on, so do be safe!