November 30, 2016


I love giving-but I plainly dislike the Shopping
I do get carried away with the giving
But I detest that MONEY slips in to mess things up

I do truly love giving to others...
but don't bring me gifts at this time in my life -I have everything-
My house is furnished,
My walls are appropriately covered.

If you  cannot walk in my door without a gift in hand...please-
Something to eat, drink or burn...
okay I'll love something to plant if it's  familiar  and not a new challenge.

I do so enjoy wrapping gifts except when I don't wrap-
I appreciate beautifully done up presents-
but I  enjoy using odd, used and sometimes strange findings to wrap them. Then topping them off with unusual or natural using twine instead of ribbon -  grab a sprig of a dried bloom or a fresh herb stem, even sticking a candy cane under the ribbon or string -This works for me!

There was a time when I was concerned with forming the most perfect beautiful more-the more simple or  strange the better.

Giving generously over the top presents does my heart good...forget cost-the giving matters..not the spending.(free, cheap, reduced or just simply "on sale" )

It's just important to actually THINK about what and to whom you are giving...just think.

Some of my all time favorite Christmas gifts include a bundle of legal/yellow note pads from Sam's-b//c the giver was taking note of something I used regularly.

And the large  bundle of EMORY BOARDS ...I hope the grand who made the choice knew I was genuinely thrilled!

I can still recall back in the late 1970's  when I had a short unusual wish list for Christmas and an item on it I really, really, really wanted one of my children to get for me was a little $1.25 nail file..('diamond dust' ? )  and no one ever gave me that. I would not buy it for myself because I felt it was frivolous and since I did not actually need it -that was expensive. True story.

And I cannot forget the large gallon size VERY VINTAGE/perhaps antique jar [jug?} given to me by my daughter the year she figured out that I actually do treasure and drool over that used, old stuff from the roadside flea markets- By the way what makes that jug really special is that it has a WIRE HANDLE.  Yes, I'll show you. Don't go away-

And I shall always treasure the simple little wooden angel made and given by one of the older grandsons- I'm not sure he realized it was such a wonderful gift -truly a "Keeper"

Did I ever share with you some of the most unusual  -uniquely wonderful things people had gifted me with..allright, if you insist I will share two or three although I don't have pictures of all .
A work friend of my husband once sent home  (for me) a hornet's nest-Yes he did and I made such a fuss over that..honest to goodness .  That natural wonder of nature was proudly displayed  for years until the weather got the best of it.  Another work friend of Ted's brought back a bunch of beautiful pink rocks collected while his family vacationed in Colorado.

I think it's time to "wrap up " this conversation. 


October 17, 2016

ABOUT Q.U.E.S.T.I.O.N.S. ??!!

 What to do?  Where to go?  What to say? 

Why so many questions we stumble into our day? 

Are we not all adults here?!  Based upon the impressive numbers of CANDLES on my last birthday cake or greeting cards- I say yes. So Why?

Image result for birthday cakes with candles photos

At some point over the years of my history, I got the idea that I would have all the answers when I found myself  mature, older, old.  No, I don't recall hearing anyone say.."Jonell hang in there for 50 - 6o - 75 years and you will have all the solutions, answers, directions . You'll easily be able to fit all the puzzle pieces together." 

Image result for pictures of puzzles

No one ever told me that.  I assumed .....kinda, sorta...I T.H.I.N.K.  I must have. Why else would I be walking around in this teeny, tiny circle I refer to as 'my world' asking myself so many inane, shallow ridiculous questions..indeed why:  (a rhetorical  question )

Well, I have your attention, right?  Great, now you're asking at least on some level;  "What in the world is she getting at? Where is she going with THIS?

Today I am continuing with a recurring  subject:  My BLOG.  Or more accurately  it's my non blog  I refer to.  ( come on you can smile here).

That's what the BANNER reads at my Blog 'Pity Party.'

Sub headers read like this:  Nothing to write about- Nothing's Happening in My Life - My Readers Will Forget Me-

Justa  thought-let's  go back to a few 'notes to self' roughly 3 years ago-during those early days-weeks, months following my change in marital status.

Let's do that-


Image result for pictures of notes to self

on my chalk board pantry doors look like this:-

( Still- Three Years Later)


M.Y. D.A.Y.S.

3. JOY

* Manna for Today

My initial focus is on the first word-OTHERS

However I am willing to admit I fail   there.
Jonell is more often my primary focus

I want answers NOW
I want solutions wrapped up in little packages-convenient-ready to use with no effort.
I know how to share advice on this topic

I know all about the value of considering OTHERS
But when I start making one of those to do lists that includes
It's too easy  to procrastinate -
That can wait until tomorrow..
Or even next week, right?
Yes, I think so.


One last note:  Just in case you are wondering- Just consider this little silly post as another of my attempts to just be open and honest (not necessarily transparent) about my own flawed maturity-while at the  same time amusing you as you slip into a new week.

Don't send condolence notes or thoughtful little  facebook notes asking  "Jonell, are you allright?"
I am allright...just spending a few minutes looking into the "honesty mirror'. 


September 10, 2016

Can We Talk About Christmas.....Really~

It's not too early to start a plan, set a goal for packing your Shoeboxes

For Operation Christmas Child

Sweet Tea And Saving Grace Blog


September 06, 2016

It All Began with My Neighbor's Yarrow ~

If you supervise your yard work very could end up with this incredible show of Yarrow.  Neglect to supervise that mowing and you could just end up dreaming of a harvest of Yarrow NEXT YEAR....or the Next season.  Just a word of caution.

"But, Mom I didn't know if that was weeds or flowers~"

I do like the Yellow but gladly rejoice with whatever color thrives.

Why do I need Yarrow, you may ask.  Answer: Because it's not only a big
show off like this patch but it dries to perfection for  beautiful dried designs.

August 01, 2016

Just Bear With Me, Okay?

I have no clue where this is going. I just felt guilty when I came to this place and saw that it was getting close to a month...yes early July was the last stopover at Gramma's House. If I don't come by and visit with you now and then I fear there will be no one turning into the driveway or knocking at my door.

Since that July 8th post  there have been some pot holes along the more so than the others.

I really don't think it noteworthy to detail  every little or semi serious health issue  but when they are book ends to a real heart stopper ...well that becomes something else entirely.

There's no other way to share this...We had to say goodbye to a 51 year old daughter in law almost 3 weeks ago.  Even stopping to recall it now stops me in my tracks, so to speak.

Now I will back up and give you the story- Their story~ Steve & Carol's story.

Our oldest  waited fifty years for his wife...yes, 50 years.

When they married he was 51 years old. That was almost five years ago. 

Their meeting was a set up by Carol's sister who worked in the same building as Steve. Their first date was intentionally at a very public the early evening at a local Deli and lasted until the doors were locked...closing.

Carol truly became a Harrison when she married our Steve Harrison. in 2011. She was embraced from the start -As they approached ( showing up w flowers always) upon her first meeting with me and Ted she was laughing nervously..we learned later b/c he had just said to her:

"My mom is gonna love you.!"

And I did. We Did. She never forgot, overlooked her new in-laws, always reminding her "husband" to call his parents or schedule a visit. She messaged me regularly and called me... on her lunch walking breaks during the day just to check on me.

I can say no more than: She thought her husband was the greatest and let the world know with such ridiculous enthusiasm . Always noting to new family and friend connections that she was sure she was our favorite daughter in law.

She cherished my son, embraced his family....

I dearly loved her.

Below: Carol with Ted /her father in law.

She loved him. He loved her.


Steve & Carol

I have never seen a woman so thrilled about changing her name -

Collecting & gladly accepting decorative H's until it was time

to say "Enough with the H's Carol."

The Daughters in law...


All three uniquely different but a wonderful fit!

Where Carol was...there was fun, laughter,  drama


cooking was not a chore.

She wore that  Blue Apron  proudly -always saying

"the more the merrier"

as the guest list grew.

I don't think she taught Steve anything about cooking ...

She relished in being able to throw together a feast for a crowd.

That's what she did!

And did I mention that she loved telling anyone who would listen

what a great  catch her husband was.

One of the things I asked God to find in a wife for my son was

"A wife who thought Steve was the best"

She did!

Mr & Mrs.  -2011
Christmas Eve morning in Brundidge.

Sweet Contrasts - for Hot Summer Days in the Deep South~

Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake

Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake Recipe
Photo: Hector
 Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Minty Lemonade Recipe

Photo: Helen Norman; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Transform lemonade in seconds with a handful of fresh mint leaves. Don't chop them--keep leaves whole to avoid murky lemonade (and bits of green in your teeth).  
1 cup sugar
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cups fresh lemon juice, from about 8 lemons
Cilantro Lime Jalapeño Lemonade

Jalapeño adds a subtle kick while cilantro brings grassy, herbal notes to the classic summertime sipper

July 08, 2016

Oldies- Repurposed

Whaddayado When Things Become Obsolete?
First we discarded them for Washing Machines,
But they just would not go away
People began to collect and display them
Now we're showing off dish garden type designs using these oldies as containers.
We call this repurposing an item.

July 02, 2016

The Grand Old Flag-

Our Red, White & Blue

Troy, Alabama
What a beautiful sight!

God - Family - Country

A special day for our oldest Grandson

I started to say, "If I had a Pool I would do that Flag scene."
Correction:  I have a wooden fence on two sides-
I CAN do the Flag thing!"

Lydia S.S. Class ladies in Montgomery, Alabama

Main Street, U.S.A.
Brundidge, Alabama 2015

The Grand Old Flag

Troy, Alabama

Southern Hospitality with a Patriotic Flare

The View From Pop's Rocking Chair


June 30, 2016

June 28, 2016

Let's Play: NAME THIS S E A S O N ~

My New Life

( I would move this to the head of the line with today's date but I forgot how to do it-I'll remember one night when I can't go to sleep )

R.A.N.D.O.M  Notes

[ Clarification: My reason for going back into my 'draft' notes and pulling out something not quite current :  Perhaps not many people will stop by to read and just maybe a few of those who do can find something personally beneficial or encouraging in some way. If that is you-I'm happy you found me and my pitiful little post today. Please visit again and I promise to be more upbeat most days! ]

My  first priority  is [must be ] physical fitness and health.
Personal safety and security should be at the top of the list these days.

I am not joining a group of Widows- or a group with the word SENIORS in the name-
Laugh if you will- that's not me. I enjoy people younger and older-not just my own age.

[Readers: "Does she not know she's old?"  Me:  "Yes, I know- I can count the neck and wrist rings. Don't email me that  information" ]

Continuing on ~
I am not reliable as I once was- I cannot be counted on to show up when I say I will. I often avoid accepting responsibilities. [Now] That too is not me.

Update:  Progress can be slow...but I am making progress.  The above paragraph/statement is not 100% true today. Yay for me?!

I have always been a wee bit of a procrastinator...but now I  give the word new meaning.

Another Update:  That too is changing-progress! But on  really rough days the procrastinating is shall we say more like "stopped dead in my tracks."

I often said [in another life] that when I found myself  alone [as now] I would not mind because I like me and have many interests...

Oh my, I had a lofty opinion of myself didn't I? I apparently thought I had all the pieces of this "L.I.F.E." puzzle figured out. 
And God was surely 'laughing out loud.'

The hard, smack you in the face reality: 
Being alone is not simply:  
"Life without my love." 
That is. spelled
E. M. P.T .Y. ~

I - had -  no -  idea.


June 22, 2016

Tips but No Tricks..A Few Things That Work for Me~

DIY Decorators - DIM  Designers - Making it Up As I Go

(Let's Go Visit with Theresa )

[Do It Yourself /Do It Myself]
10 Secret Weapons in Every DIY Decorator/Designer's Tool Box
  1. Duct Tape
  2. Safety Pins
  3. Rubber Bands
  4. Razor Blades/single edge & Box Cutter
  5. Used Tooth Brushes-small space cleaning
  6. Masking Tape
  7. Super Glue/liquid Nails
  8. Selection of Mason Jars/or small bottles
  9. Selection/Variety of Twines
  10. Mirrors


My table cloths are too large or not the right size- Bunch and wrap w Rubber Bands

My curtains or sheers are not the right length..too long or some long and some short-Rubber Bands
I need to cover an object or cushion fast and easy....duct tape

Table decorations instantly...jars and bottles for WEED FLOWERS

Large room, lots of tables to decorate..Instead of Flowers...get outside and cut branches from anything Green, live and growing..Fill MASON JARS and get creative w lining, bunching  and stacking them (small risers help )

And MIRRORS:  Small mirror squares or long narrow strips use as you would a cloth table runner.
This makes an instant base for a center piece or tablescape and you end the project with a clean, uncluttered, finished table -using a variety of [as few as 3, as many as 5 or 7} interesting bottles with either herbs from your own beds or what I proudly refer to as weed flowers from along the roadsides


June 20, 2016

Some Things I Don't Do ~ Anymore

In this new world I find I am still adjusting to changes-still. 

(Just in case you were w-o-n-d-e-r-I-n-g-)

I don't buy a gallon  of milk anymore.  I pretty much don't even buy milk. 
So what about the calcium my body needs?  I take supplements and now and then-perhaps weekly I will pour myself maybe 2-4 ounces of half and half cream (a must for good coffee) and drink that or add the milk to a bowl of cereal!

I don't eat a lot of meat  either.  However, I do try to keep track of how much or little protein I am taking in  and that's when I decide to eat out and enjoy a small steak or baked or grilled  Salmon.   If my healthy dinner out is one of the local country buffet restaurants that's when I indulge in fried catfish.

Another mental note about protein -I regularly stock great nuts for snacks.  Walnuts, pecans and especially enjoy the little 100 calorie packets of smoked almonds.

Years ago we agreed to bring large cartons of our very favorite ice cream home only if we were expecting company or hosting a party. When we just had to have ice cream we would  grab a small, pint size from the supermarket and share it at home. 

In the past when choosing fruit at the market I would be careful to get no more than 4 bananas to bring home but now- two bananas ...they don't last long.  There is pretty much the same with usually sorry if I count out 3 or 4.  The odds are one or two will spoil before they're used up.

And did I mention that these days my bread always goes into the refrigerator.  Now I know why Nanny always had her's in the fridge..  When I have more sugar than my canister will hold the excess is refrigerated too.

Another fyi....While for so many years my basic canisters  will hold close to 5lb. bags of things like flour, corn meal, sugar, works best if I buy a smaller ( 1 or 2 lb. ) bag .  Any extra of these grocery staples will store just fine in the fridge.

All my grocery staples now store the same (in glass /closed) canisters in my pantry for the simple reason that I do not use up  these things as in the past.

Changes- who knew ?!!