A Trailer Home Beside a Country Road By T.D. Bayless



I just viewed a lonely place

While leisurely driving around.

Although I tried, I couldn’t keep

Sad tears from flowing down.

A scene where once dear friends had lived

And welcomeness bestowed.

But now an empty Trailer Home

Beside a Country Road.


I even walked up near the door

But it didn’t open wide.

And someone say, ‘Come in and sit

It’s kinda warm outside.

Have some coffee or a coke

While we sit and chat.’

Oh no, this didn’t happen,

Deathly silence instead of that.


As I viewed in front of the trailer home,

No garden graced the scene.

Where once had grown lush vegetables

Tall grass and weeds now teemed.

But I saw and heard familiar things,

That brought back memories.

Mocking birds still sang with glee

Up in the cedar tree.


As I departed the lonely site,

Deep thoughts engrossed my mind.

As I gazed up toward azure skies

I wondered, if that in time,

I would meet my friends again

In a glamorous, gold-decked abode,

Or will it be in a Trailer Home

Beside a Country Road?


By T.D. Bayless

T.D. (Theodore Debs) Bayless was married to Iva who was my Paternal Grandfather’s Aunt. T.D. wrote this poem about my Grandparent’s (Furman and Edith Lytle) last home in Shafter California not far from where I grew up. T.D was one of the co-writers of the song “The Pill” copyrighted  1973 and recorded/released by Loretta Lynn in 1975.


Persimmon Drop Cookies


(My mom’s recipe – she found it in the newspaper, my notes are in parenthesis)

1/2 cup shortening (some recipes call for butter, could also do half and half)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1 cup raisins

Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten egg. Sift together dry ingredients. Add alternately with persimmon pulp, stirring well between each addition. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop on greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes (or less depending on size of cookies).

(One recipe called for mixing the baking soda into the persimmon pulp instead of with the flour…I use a stick blender to do that, making the pulp and soda lump free. I would also add that you can just mix in dry ingredients in one step, being careful not to overmix as it will develop the gluten and make the cookies tough. I like to make small cookies and slightly undercook them. Parchment paper keeps the bottoms from getting too brown. My other recipe call for 350 oven temp for 10 minutes. You can test by lightly touching to see if they bounce back (cake like). They do get more moist the second or third day but after that you might want to freeze them, especially in a humid climate. They could mold more easily since they are so moist.)

I also recently tried this recipe I found on Pinterest. It was very good but the added allspice made the cloves seem too strong so I would cut that back a bit. Interestingly it added baking powder and vanilla (which my mom’s didn’t have). It would be fun to do a side by side comparison of the two recipes.





“May all your expectations be frustrated,

May all your plans be thwarted,

May all your desires be withered into nothingness,

That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child,

And sing and dance in the love of God

Who is Father, Son and Spirit,


Brennan Manning, at the end of  his sermon “God loves you as you are, not as you should be”, quoting his Spiritual Director Larry Hine

Thanksgiving 2016: Planning


It’s time to start planning for our Thanksgiving weekend meals.

I’m starting with my previous post Thanksgiving Menu 2010 and will make adjustments as needed.

I’m thinking maybe adding an Apple Pie and excluding the Pumpkin Pie, although it does seem like a violation of the holiday to do that.

The Menu:

Turkey, Dressing (or Stuffing)

Mashed Potatoes & Giblet Gravy

Yam & Cranberry Casserole

Potato Rolls

Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Pies: Mixed Berry, Texas Pecan, Apple or Pumpkin

Here is my beginning grocery list:

  • Fresh Veggies – celery, carrots, onions, flat leaf parsley, curly leaf parsley, russet potatoes (& maybe yukon golds – 2 lbs), fresh cranberries, fresh mixed berries (or frozen), 2 – 10oz bags brussel sprouts, walnuts,
  • Canned and boxed goods – quick cooking tapioca, canned evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, canned cranberry sauce, shortening, dry yeast, canned sliced or chopped mushrooms, canned sliced black olives, chicken stock, corn meal or cornbread mix, stuffing mix, kitchen bouquet, 2 – 17oz canned yams, miniature marshmallows,
  • Refrigerated and Frozen products – butter, margarine, whole turkey, turkey breast, turkey bone parts for broth, eggs, heavy cream, fresh berries, bacon, vanilla ice-cream, milk,

Nanna’s Bookshelf


I’m staying a few days with my husband’s mother after a few hard weeks in and out of the hospital. When she has the energy we have great conversations reminiscing about the amazing work of God in our lives. Our brokenness, His grace, mercy and sovereignty.

As I think about the years of loving and being loved by this dear woman, who adopted, loved  and raised my husband, the thing that bonded us the most (after loving the same man) was our love and benefit from the same books.

We took turns finding and sharing the recommendations. We spent hours discussing their challenging and encouraging truths. Here’s a sample of her bookshelf. 

Tamale Bites


2 cups crumbled cornbread

1 10 oz can mild enchilada sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded jack cheese (or try cheddar)

Combine cornbread crumbs, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and salt, mix gently. Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the tomato sauce and the remaining enchilada sauce. Served cooked meatballs in sauce topped with cheese. Makes aprox. 90 meatballs.

Grilled Peach Melba with Ice-cream


3/4 cup sugar (+ 1 T. sugar)

3/4 cup water

1 vanilla bean (scrape seeds and set aside) or 1 T. vanilla extract

4 peaches, pitted, peeled and cut in half (I leave peel on)

8 oz raspberries

1 T. lemon juice

vanilla ice-cream

Preheat grill to medium/high heat.

Place 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water, 1 T. lemon juice and the seeds scraped from one  vanilla bean (or 1 T. vanilla extract) into a small saucepan and cook over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Removed from heat and add peaches, set aside.

Place raspberries and  1 T. lemon juice and 1 T. of sugar into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Use a mesh sieve to remove seeds. Cover and set in the refrigerator.

Grill peaches for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from gill and place back into the syrup and cover with foil for 5 minutes. Remove peaches from syrup and serve with ice-cream and drizzle with raspberry sauce.

Susie’s Broccoli Salad


2 bundles of fresh broccoli – cut into bite size pieces (flowerettes)

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup pecans, diced

1/2 lb bacon, browned and crumbled

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup yellow or red onion, diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

The day before you plan to serve this dish, wash broccoli and place in a large bowl. Add chestnuts, pecans, bacon, raisins and onion. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar well, the pour over all other ingredients and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at one for one night, maybe two. Stir and serve.



Garden Vegetable Casserole


2 small summer squash, sliced

1 med. zucchini, sliced

1 small white onion, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

2 T. grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. thyme

Place all the sliced vegetables on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over and lightly toss with vegetables.

Cover and and cook in a 350 degree F. oven on a middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Or place in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes.

Apricot Pie Filling


3 cups pitted fresh apricots, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (+ dash of nutmeg optional)

pat of butter

Mix all together and place in uncooked pie shell. Cover with another layer of pie crust and bake in a 425 degree F. oven on a middle rack, for 35-45 minutes or until crust is brown and center is bubbling. Let cool.

This filling can be made ahead of time and placed in a large plastic bag then kept in the freezer until ready to bake. Allow to thaw at room temperature until it will pour out easily (but not all the way thawed) or can even be microwaved in a bowl to thaw and warm it up before placing in pie shell to bake.