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What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

Happy Summer, y’all! I recently returned from a week at the beach and I have so much to discuss. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been at the beach for a WHOLE WEEK and I learned so many valuable lessons.

First of all, in case I haven’t mentioned this before, I am extremely good at vacationing. I mean, I have skills. I can relax with the best of ’em. It’s a shame I’m not filthy rich, because I would vacation at the beach every. damn. week.

I visited the Sunshine State and I really do love the ol’ Panhandle. We usually go somewhere between Panama City and Destin on 30A, and if you haven’t been there, go. The water is Caribbean-blue and clear, with mild waves (usually) and a low water-to-critter ratio (disclaimer: this is not research-based; it is a purely anecdotal observation). The sand is powdery white, the beaches not as wide as the Atlantic or as good to walk on but absolutely beautiful. It’s a happy place.

I am a beach girl, through and through. My mom passed that trait down to me, and I to my offspring. I know in my heart that the beach is my natural habitat.

Although I do enjoy relaxing on vacation, I also like to learn a few new things. Here are my Top 10 Things I Learned On My Summer Vacation:

1. We Are Not All Super Models and That Is Ok.

Look, it’s a relief, quite frankly. When you go the Florida Panhandle, you see a cross-section of America, and we all need to just face reality and say, “We are human beings, we’ve had children, we are not super models, and it’s ok.” I include myself in that observation, for the record. But hey, if you want to tattoo your entire body and go out on the beach in a string bikini, then go for it. If you want to wear a teensy weensy bikini / Speedo and you’re 70, then do it. Why hold back? It’s a free country, damn it. You do you.

2. Never Order Turkey Bacon on Vacation.

I think that one speaks for itself. But just to clarify: you’ll be so disappointed in it because it will never, ever measure up to real bacon. And you’re on vacation. So just order the real freaking bacon.

3. Enjoy Your People

I love my people. Every summer, the four of us go somewhere together and I love every minute. My oldest offspring will only be around for 3 more school years, so I am savoring each and every moment we all have together. They are truly my favorites and the ones I would most want to be with.

4. My People Are Fun

During the humdrum day-to-day, we might lose sight of how fun we can actually be. But darn it, we ARE fun! Give us a week away from work, school, chores, yard work, laundry, etc. and we will play hard. We really should do this more often.

5. I Like Mojitos

I am a wine and vodka girl, with the occasional light beer in the mix. So color me surprised when I ordered Great Southern Cafe‘s Cherry Mojito and it was incredible! I didn’t know I liked rum, but let it be said that I do think beach drinks taste exponentially better at the actual beach. It was so light and refreshing on a hot night…I’ll be ordering that one again.


5. I Love To Read

Ok, I already knew this, but who has the time or energy during the work week? It normally takes me months to get through a good book, since I only have time at night and am so tired by then, I only make it through a few pages. On vacay, I flew through The Husband’s Secret and started Ghettoside, and it was lovely. I was in my own little world and when I retire, I am just going to read all day long, every day.

6. I Like To Exercise

On vacation, I got up in the morning, had my hot tea and banana, and was ready to roll. Several mornings, I went out and walked or ran before hitting the beach. It’s pretty great to exercise with the Gulf of Mexico in view, so I posit that I would be more fit and healthy if I moved to the beach. It was hot as hell and I still got out there willingly. At home, if it’s over 80 degrees, I can easily wimp out. I think I should get a doctor’s note to move…

7. Eating Lunch In A Bathing Suit & Cover-Up Gives Me Life

If I owned a restaurant, it would be on the beach and only allow customers wearing cover-ups and flip-flops. From beach chair straight to restaurant chair, I didn’t have to worry about my beach hair or makeup-less face…the only thing I had to stress about is which fruity cocktail to order. I don’t really want to leave the beach ever, so to just stroll over to the tiki hut to order a sandwich and drink suits me just fine.

8. The Rebel Flag Is A BeachWear Trend

Wow. Just stop. Please. Where do they even order their confederate flag bikinis?  Rednecks R Us?

9. Tropical Storms Are Not That Big of A Deal When You’re There For a Week

Charlie who? Girl, bye. We had one day of rain and two days of rough water. I got some work done, my people frolicked around town, and we went to the pool to swim. No one was sweating that storm since we were there for a WHOLE WEEK anyway. Howevs, the waves were crazy strong for a while so, I also learned…

10. R-E-S-P-E-C-T Mother Nature

God love her, she is everything. I am so thankful for the beauty that God has given us to enjoy with our people. That beach, that water, that sky, that sunset (don’t know about the sunrise, never saw it)…mad respect for that gorgeousness and mad gratitude for these natural gifts we have been given. I don’t take it for granted and I get back there as often as I can.


What are you and your people doing this summer? What life lessons will you learn? Enjoy your summer vacations and may they be lasting memories for you and yours for years to come.

Take care of yourselves and each other,


Yellow Daisy Chick

May: On Aging

I’ve been mulling over this blog for a while now.

Today, I feel like finally putting it on paper. Today, this is how I feel about this topic. Tomorrow, I might have something different to say, but it would generally be the same. Today, I feel like telling you what I think about aging at this point in my existence.

Y’all. I’m 45 and I’m fine. I’m good. I have way more pros than cons right now, so I’m so good.

But sometimes, I see things in the media or I hear other people saying things about aging, or I have a bad day, and I’m not fine. I’m pissed. Because I truly believe that by the age of 45, I’ve earned the right to not give a damn about my (naturally) aging body.

I’ve been 18 and I’ve cared a LOT about looking cute for the boys. I’ve been 23 and cared a LOT about meeting a mate with whom to have babies. I’ve been 29 and 34 and had two babies and I’ve cared a LOT about losing that baby weight.

And now I’m 45 and am so grateful that God has given me that husband and those babies and this body that grew those babies and fed those babies. I have a job that I love and friends that I love and a supportive family. Can’t we just be happy with that?

Because sometimes, I feel that I’m physically not enough. I’m too fat, too out-of-shape, too saggy, too gravity-challenged, too grey, too creaky, too glasses-dependent, too tired, too imperfect. I’m not that skinny mom. I’m not a MILF. I’m not hot. I’m not enough.

You know what I am, though? I am 45 and have earned the right to be valued for my mind and my knowledge and my experience and the way I treat others. I would rather be judged on how well I do my job, how my children treat others, how well I put goodness into the world. Or how well I don’t. I don’t want to be hot. I don’t want to be a MILF, except to my own husband, who so far, loves me no matter what. I exercise and eat healthy because I want to feel good, not because I want to be a skinny mom.

I love being 45. I shouldn’t have to care about my ass or my crow’s feet. Simply by aging, I’ve earned the right to be my natural self and will happily leave the “being hot” to the young set. I am thrilled to pass the torch to the cute young things heading out into the world to meet their mate. And I extend my 45-year-old, wrinkled, freckle-y hand to anyone else who wants to join me here on the other side.

April: These Are My Jams

(This blog is brought to you by Chick Fil-A Tea/Half and Half and HGTV’s House Hunters, two of my jams.)

Happy Friday, y’all!

Last month, you heard me describe my first-world March Madness problems. I had 99 problems and a hobby wasn’t one. (Please excuse the whiteness of that sentence.)

I whined and opined and complained myself blind about not having any time. All I did in March was work, work, work, work, work. April, however, was going to be good to me.

And so far, it has been. No complaining today. I’ve found some time to remember that I like things. I like to do things. As my kids hate to hear me say, they are my jams. And here they are:

1. Hiking

If you’re feeling burnt out or stuck or down, get out in the woods. Go see some wildlife, find a waterfall, work some muscles. Breathe deep. The woods help me feel alive, as well as comfortably insignificant. Love. It.

Warwoman Dell, Clayton, GA

2. Essential Oils

I’m totally into making concoctions and have been making some lovely roller balls, room sprays, and diffusions. They make me feel better and I’ve even gotten my teenage son into them! (Like me, he uses them for asthma and allergies.) If you’re looking into getting started with them, I’ve got a guy. Actually, it’s my cousin Lauren, who has shown me everything. Click on her name if you’re in the market. They are so much better than a scented candle and they help my moods and my breathing better than anything else. Nothing removes pet and teenage odor better than these oils diffused in the room. (Don’t tell them I said that.)


3. Books

I love my book club and I’ve finally gotten to actually read some of the books we’ve picked.  I’ve finished March’s book, After You, and had already read our April choice All the Light You Cannot See so I read The Sound of Gravel. Whoa, what a story. A memoir by a woman who grew up in a dysfunctional polygamist family. And I can’t wait to start our May pick, Brooke Shields’ There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me. A bonus? Reading them all in real live book form. No iBooks. Real books are my jam.


4. The Americans

If you’re not watching this show, you’re missing out. OMG it is so stressful, but in the best way possible. Keri Russell is also my jam, ever since Felicity and Waitress. Russian spies, 80s cold war (not to mention the amazing fashions), politics, family drama, and sooooo much more.


5. Getting Control-Freaky on My Dresser Drawers

Yes, I did this. Yes, it’s OCD. But who wouldn’t love their clothes looking like this? It’s inner peace, it’s a small way to control my chaos, and it’s my jam.

This is not weird. At all.



6. Drugstore Makeup

I’ve been a fan of department store makeup for many, many years. And I do still use it for some things. But I haven’t been happy lately with some of my makeup purchases, so I checked out some drugstore options and found makeup bliss. Particularly, Almay Lip Butter (Fair) and Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in Smooch have made my spring. I like the ease of running in any corner drugstore and being able to find it.

7. Van Morrison

He’s always been my jam, but this month I finally get to see him perform live! Can. Not. Wait. Love his chill vibe and always brings me back to the old college days of listening to classic rock.

So there you have it. You may not have wanted it, but you got it. These are my jams.

What are yours? Let me know so I can add to my list!

Take care of yourselves and each other,


Yellow Daisy Chick

March Madness [Don’t Do Me Like That]

March. Seriously. May. Kill. Me.

Don’t do me like that. Baby, baby, baby…don’t do me like that.

I am indulging myself in a quick blog on this St. Patrick’s Day (Happy Green Beer Day, everyone!) I don’t have time for it. I should be doing a million other things right now. But I’m doing this. Because it might help me stay sane. As will some green beer later.


If you wonder why I don’t text you back, or why my yard looks like hell, or why I didn’t like your photo on Facebook, it’s because March 2016 is completely and utterly killing me. And I still have two weeks to go.

When 11:59 pm on March 31 arrives, here is a rundown of what I will have (hopefully) survived:

11 High School tennis matches

1 Magazine out of the oven

1 Magazine going into the oven

2 Out-of-town/weekend cheer competitions

1 Gazillion cheer practices

1 Family wedding

1 Hosting/working at youth group mission weekend

1 Daylight savings time (so…tired…)

1 Easter

1 Fifth grade play and a gazillion practices

And your list is probably worse. Or longer. Or more difficult. Just know that I am with you in deranged mind and worn-out spirit and that we will get through this. We can and we will.

I say this not to whine, but somewhat to whine. I say this not for a pity party, but maybe a small sympathetic shindig. I am full of gratitude for this life and my job and my family and their busy-ness. I’m glad my children are active. I know that someday I will miss this. But right now, I just need to wrap my brain around the fact that my laundry will probably stay unfolded in baskets and the dog hair will accumulate more than usual until March is out. Which by the way means A LOT because they are shedding. Add in the pollen, and well…March can kiss my grits.

This is one of those months when I feel like I am not doing anything particularly well. I am getting it done, and so far, DFCS doesn’t need to come and pick up my kids. But I don’t like to just “get it done.” I like to get it done well. I like to take some time. I like to think about it. I like to get on Pinterest every now and then. I like to listen to music and read books and cook something fun. I like having hobbies. But who has time for hobbies? Not this chick. And not many people I know.

So that’s a goal that I’m setting right this minute. April 1st will see me finding time for hobbies. Every weekend, I will spend some time on a hobby, housework be damned. If we don’t take that time to decompress, it’s gonna get real ugly up in here.

March: go ahead and do me like that.

April: you better be good to me.

Take care of yourselves!! And each other.


❤ YellowDaisyChick



Newnan-Coweta Magazine Rocks!

Super pumped about my first issue as editor of Newnan-Coweta Magazine! It takes a village…well, more like a whole county to make a magazine. From the interview subjects to the writers and photographers, to the sales and graphics staff, and beyond…it’s a major team effort.

Hope you enjoy! And can you handle the cuteness of this precious little boy on the cover?!

Click to view the March/April issue of Newnan-Coweta Magazine!




Guest Blog: Life…Always Under Construction by Tascha Davis

Once upon a time, I was a high school basketball player. Basketball was a huge part of my life, starting in elementary school playing for my church and lasting all the way through high school. I loved the game, loved my teammates, and loved competing. When I go in a gym now and hear the shoes squeaking, and smell that sweaty gym smell, and see the ball flying around, I want to jump in — even though I am too old and tired to run up and down the court anymore.

I was a decent player on a very good team. I played among several stars who would go on to play college ball; the biggest star was Tascha Davis. She was the unicorn. The one who did the Michael Jordan-esque stunts. The one who flew and made baskets out of nothing. 

Here we are in 1989. She’s trying to help me look cool and I’m doing the best I can. LOL!

We were also good friends. She was hilarious, a talented writer, and smart as a whip. She got a scholarship to UNC-Asheville and without any cell phones or Facebook in the late ’80s, we lost touch. Through the magic of social media, we have reconnected and I asked her to guest blog for me. Fortunately, she said yes. Here is her story:

Life…Always Under Construction

by Tascha Davis

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This may sound like a cliché but one day I woke up, took a critical look at my life, and realized how dissatisfied I was. Extremely. As we all know, either in our late teenaged years or in our early adult stages of life, we make plans for how we want our lives to become…and more often than not, our design becomes (helplessly) flawed by unpredictable obstacles and challenges that inevitably alter our course.

Then, as time passes, these plans are discarded upon the path of unattainable goals and shattered dreams and a detour is taken. The detour where nothing is planned and conformity to circumstances becomes a given.

We’re not instructed growing up that “life” never goes as planned or that we can never really “plan” for life. We can prepare for life, become equipped with better coping mechanisms and adjusting skills but no one can actually plan for it and everything turns out as planned. I learned like everyone else that once I reached adult status…all bets were off.

Since I was a basketball star in high school and recruited heavily by major higher institutions of learning, I had planned to ride the wave of stardom all through my college years while attaining either an English or Psychology degree. In my mind, I knew I was destined to play in the Olympics one day (at this time the WNBA wasn’t in existence). I was going to be a baller for life. I had no interest in having children nor a husband nor in living a domestic lifestyle. I was going to skip through life fancy and free until…well…until out of nowhere life happened and completely blindsided me.

First of all, I signed for a full ride to attend UNC-Asheville. The coach I signed to play for was a perfect match for my style of play as well as our perception toward the game. Well, as “life” would have it, the coach was fired the summer before my first semester began. I could have given up the scholarship and simply walked away and taken my chances with another school but I was in the midst of an emotionally difficult summer so I didn’t want to invest the time or energy looking into going elsewhere. So, I stayed on course and payed a huge penalty.

The women’s coach that was hired to replace her was the complete opposite of what I needed in a coach and I was the opposite of what she looked for in a player. She couldn’t appreciate my talents, my gifts or my flair for making things happen on the court that usually resulted in points on the scoreboard. So, I became frustrated, extremely, and I didn’t care how I expressed my frustrations. I was unhappy and for a player such as myself, it was all about the ball game.

Being a ball player was my identity and I equated my sense of worth as such so the more my pride was trampled upon by the coach and my envious teammates who graciously and sarcastically had nicknamed me “the freshman sensation” behind my back, the less I loved the game and I grew to hate it. Playing ball was my lifeline and the life was being sucked out of it. My academic studies also took a major blow. At the time, I was too young to appreciate or understand the benefits of a sound, quality education and so I lost it all: my scholarship, my education, and my sanity.

Life is a very consistent reminder of how it’s not always what you want but what life has already planned to offer you. After a year of sitting out, since I was determined that playing ball was my destiny, I tried out for another coach and was granted another full ride at Francis Marion College, now a University. This was a different story but with the same ending. Same envious teammates who decided to make my life hell because I was the only member of the team with a full ride even though I had to sit out a year because of eligibility requirements. The coach didn’t terminate my scholarship this time around. I did. I simply walked away because at this point I had had enough. I didn’t care enough about being a ball player anymore to continue fighting for it. So, I hung up my Jordan’s literally for good but only temporarily in my mind.

During my late twenties, when I was beginning to accept that being a ball player wasn’t in the cards for me, I was presented another opportunity to live the lifestyle that I had dreamt of. I was out eating lunch with a friend one day when I crossed paths with the head coach of Furman University’s Women’s basketball program. We spoke briefly of what had taken place in my life up until that point. She asked if I had any aspirations of trying out for the WNBA league that had newly been formed. I told her that I hadn’t thought much of it. She encouraged me to try out because she viewed me as a good candidate. She offered me the use of her facilities which included the gym and the weight room and anything else that she could assist me with. My interest was piqued and I decided that I would take on the challenge and resurrect my pride and reputation.

But I also had responsibilities at this time and I couldn’t abandon them. I had no assistance with those responsibilities at the time and so everything hung in the balance. By the time I had help come into my life, I was in a car accident that altered my physical capacities forever. I broke my left hip and my femur bone and although I have endured six hip surgeries, the last being a total hip replacement, use of this hip has never been totally restored.

At the beginning of my journey, I frowned upon children and the responsibilities that came along with them. Everyone who knew me perceived me as irresponsible and I was in total agreement with that perception. I didn’t want an ordinary life. I wanted extraordinary that came with awards of recognition and achievement, ceremonies, televised interviews, and newspaper articles. I didn’t want to live under the radar. I wanted to blow up the radar. My interest in pursuing an English degree came from my love of literature, writing, and poetry. My other interest in pursuing a Psychology degree came from my fascination with human behavior and how the mind works primarily when mental illness comes into play since I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

So when I finally “woke up” I was in my mid-thirties and I realized that although my life hadn’t gone as planned, it still had many amazing opportunities to offer me. By this time I had given birth to two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. I was a very responsible parent and I enjoyed motherhood and the challenges it presented. Nonetheless, something valuable was missing. Growing up I never realized or understood that having an education was more important than any of my ball playing dreams.

It never dawned on me that using my mind could be just as rewarding and beneficial as using my physical self. I had been selling myself short because I was allowing myself to believe that my only talent or gift lie in having a basketball gripped in my palms. I possessed other gifts and talents like writing, songs or poetry or really just about anything. So, I decided to enroll back in college but in different areas of concentration this time around. My newfound interest lie in business and how I could profit off of my writings. So, last December I received my associate’s degree in Business Management and I’m two exams away from receiving my associate’s degree in Business Marketing.

I’m extremely proud of these achievements. I worked hard for them so I deeply cherish and value them. I want to continue and further my education and work toward a bachelor’s degree. Most of all I want my talents to “work” for me. I have visions of an entertainment company on the horizon which will specialize in music, book publishing, and film. My outlook is if I’m going to write something then I’m going to be the one to own all rights to it.

Initially, I had thought that life had been unfair by not going according to my plans. Instead, life has shown me that although we don’t always get what we want from life, we still get something that is just as rewarding as what we wanted or even better. I had so many faulty belief patterns in place and life is like a good parent, quick to correct them. I’m so happy that life proved to me that I can handle responsibility. I am thankful that life chose a different path for me to take.

I’m overjoyed that my tunnel vision was corrected because although my life didn’t go as I planned, the journey was still my own, individualized, and unique and I can deeply appreciate every obstacle I have had to overcome, every problem I have had to solve, and every challenge I have had to defeat. What life taught me was that Tascha Davis is much more than just a ball player and to this day, I’m still uncovering who she is.

Thanks to Tascha for sharing this piece with YellowDaisyChickChat!  I hope that you guys or someone you know will be inspired and/or motivated by this guest blog. I know I was.

Take care of yourselves and each other,



Area Woman Declares Cooking Light January/February Issue Best Ever!

Once upon a time, Cooking Light came to my house and created recipes for my family.

Have I mentioned that already? 🙂

I know, I need to get over it and move on with my life, but here is one last post on how it went afterwards. They designed a day of recipes for us in the January/February issue and here are the real life Test (Home) Kitchen’s results:

Veggie Eggy Scramble– My favorite breakfast, period. Could eat this every day. I’ve made this with and without the onions; try not to skip them. They put it over the top. What a wonderful way to start the day!
Greek Slaw Chicken Pita– This recipe changes up the Greek salad theme just enough to keep it interesting but not too much to get off track. The crunch of the slaw with the Greek flavors makes me so happy. For some reason, it looks like a slaw sandwich in the photo but I promise I put some chicken up in there! It’s light, but filling at the same time.
Easy Thai Steak Noodle Bowl– I love how Cooking Light’s Ann Taylor Pittman reused some of the ingredients from the earlier meals for this.  She clearly gets the Real World. We asked for Thai and she more than delivered. Easy, quick, and absolutely a family crowd pleaser. You’d never know it was good for you, but I sure am glad it is. 

Aside from wanting to relive this experience and name drop, I also wanted to say that the ladies and gentlemen at Cooking Light really did get us. They listened and sincerely provided the ultimate day for us. These people care about their work and about the people who read it, cook it, and love it. Those of us who follow them and subscribe to their magazine and diet are all the better for it.

Thank you, people of Cooking Light Land. You rock.

Be well. Take care of yourselves and each other,


Yellow Daisy Chick

Mamas: Food Memory Series (6th and Final Post)

As I wind down my Food Memory Series, as well as 2015, I decide to end with my mama.

Mothers make most of our food memories and as such, deserve some accolades, even if it is just as the finale of this series. 🙂 My mom, Gale Dunaway Kinney, has provided her family with too many food memories to count. She knows how to throw a good dinner party, and she cooks for it herself, too! She provided me with a cooking foundation that was one part tradition, one part nutritious ingredients, one part coupon/sale-centric, and one part progressive. She is a baby boomer and loves the old tried-and-true recipes, but is never afraid to try something new. I am the same way.

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The holidays were always her Super Bowl. She seemed to love cooking and baking, and I swear I could taste her joy in her pecan tea tassies, cherry chews, and  sausage cheese balls. She bakes angel biscuits for friends and neighbors, and always made a goodie tray for my dad’s office. She can fry chicken. She can make a grandchild drool with her cheese wafers. As a mother, I can only hope to reach her culinary greatness and her ability to create lasting food memories.


She’s not only a great cook. She’s actually a great writer, too; she honed her skills during her many years as an elementary school media specialist and all-around lover of books. She kindly agreed to write a guest blog on her own food memories, and it’s a story I never even knew. Thanks so much for sharing, Mom, and for being you.

Food Memories

by Gale Kinney

I grew up in the Southern Methodist tradition of Sunday dinner after church. If you’ve ever heard Lyle Lovett sing “Church”, you have an idea of the spiritual nature of that midday Sunday meal:

“To the Lord let praises be;
It’s time for dinner now let’s go eat.
We’ve got some beans and some good cornbread;
Now listen to what the preacher said.”

I was the world’s pickiest eater as a kid, but there was a meal that I looked forward to, and that was Sunday roast beef and mashed potatoes. When we came in from church, that eye of round Mama had left roasting in the oven would be getting crispy on the outside. The rich aroma from the caramelizing process promised brown gravy to pour over buttery, creamy potatoes. That regular Sunday dinner made us all hope the preacher wouldn’t preach too long.

Come Monday, though, my mainstay was a peanut butter (no jelly) sandwich on white bread. My mother made me one every day for 12 years and packed it in a brown paper sack for school. The only vegetable I ate was corn. The only fruit I ate was an occasional apple. No food mixed up in a casserole or covered in a sauce.

I’ve been reading up on the psychology of folks with “selective palates.” Apparently, this behavior can be explained as: a. evolutionary, b. biological, or c. environmental. Here’s my case study:

I did have overactive taste buds and a high gag reflex. My worst school day in first grade? That day my teacher insisted I taste the nasty big white Navy beans in the school cafeteria and wash them down with a sip of room temperature milk….
My father was a meat and potatoes guy. He also ate peanut butter crackers after every meal.
My mother indulged both of her picky eaters and prepared food the way we liked it. How frustrating for a woman who loved to cook!
So I guess it was destined for me to grow up as a non-foodie.

And then I fell in love with a boy. Opposites attracted in this case. I ate to live; he lived to eat. There was literally a world of food out there that I had never given a chance. Food from Italy, China, Mexico, Africa. For that matter, I’d never even eaten a good old American hot dog! And so, falling in love with Phil opened the door to falling in love with food.

It started with pizza. I hated tomatoes and anything made with them-ketchup, spaghetti, a tomato sandwich- all were on the yucky list. It’s hard to believe, but in 1966, pizza was very exotic in small town Georgia. Our school cafeteria made their version of pizza every Friday: yeast rolls that rose to a height of about four inches, topped with tomato sauce and a bit of cheese and ground beef. This was served with a side of turnip greens for some strange reason. Needless to say, I stuck with the peanut butter sandwich.

But Phil knew a great pizza place in a nearby town, and so at the age of 17, he took me for my first real pizza experience in Rome. This is true-I ate my first pizza in Rome. Don’t get excited. It was Rome, Georgia! We went to the Pizza King, and I fell in love all over again, but this time it was ground beef pizza. I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing. Those delicious little meatballs and the way the hot cheese would burn the roof of your mouth! The mozzarella would string from the slice of pizza to my mouth and remind me of the scene in the Disney movie of Lady and the Tramp sharing their spaghetti.

After that, I dabbled in trying food that had been standard southern fare at my house for years. Pork chops! I had never tasted pork chops, because I didn’t like the sound of the name. Lima beans smelled funny, but they tasted so earthy and buttery! Finally, something green was on the approved list. Still, nothing could be mixed up in a casserole or touching on the plate.

The first time I went to eat with Phil’s family, his mother, who was another great Southern cook, planned her specialty- Chicken Chow Mein. When I found out that Phil had told her not to cook it because I would hate it, I was totally embarrassed. I insisted that she make her favorite food, with the one caveat. Don’t tell me what’s in it. We turned the lights down, and I ate every bite. Little did I know it contained bean sprouts and mushrooms. But what lovely texture with the crunchy noodles, the crisp sprouts and celery! Now I could add China to my world tour of eating.

After that, it was a matter of time before I was eating chili, squash casserole, Shrimp Creole, Reuben sandwiches with sauerkraut and Thousand Island Dressing, even fried okra. When we got married I had to learn to cook all the foods Phil loved, so of course, I learned to love most of them myself. Be careful what you wish for! Nothing good comes without a price. Extra pounds, trips to the gym, and high cholesterol. But the joy of cooking and eating has become an important way we bond in our family, so it’s worth the trade off.

Food memory is associated with happy times gathered with family around the table. Breaking bread takes on a spiritual aspect when it’s experienced with those we love. When my mother gave up her home and was giving away her best loved possessions to her children and grandchildren, my first request was for a sampler stitched by her mother that had hung in the dining room for many years. It is bordered with richly colored embroidered fruits and vegetables, surrounding this quote from Proverbs: “Better a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” This sums up the place food holds for our family.


The sampler now has a place of honor in our dining room. On Thanksgiving Day, as we gather there, we won’t be having the stalled ox, but Phil will be outside frying a turkey. Everyone will be in the kitchen chopping, mixing, tasting as we prepare dressing, squash, beans, and pumpkin pie. The rituals of preparing our favorite foods, giving thanks and feasting together are family tradition. And, of course the topic of conversation will be “What’s for supper?”

Here’s wishing all of you, my fabulous blog readers, a 2016 filled with happy and lasting food memories!

Be well. Take care of yourselves and each other,

Yellow Daisy Chick




Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! May we be arbiters of peace, love, and inclusion throughout the season and the new year. 

Hope 2016 brings you good eats, good books and good health! 

Be well,

Yellow Daisy Chick

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