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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Madly Clean Rich Room

An excerpt from Chapter Two: The Madly Clean Rich Room. "You will find them in model homes which have never been lived in, but every home should have one. It may be the home's entrance and foyer which makes the first impression, or the living room and dining room. It may be the master bedroom. Today's home building trends may even dictate that it is the garage. It must be flawlessly clean, and the results will be worth it, because it will uplift you every time you see it. And like the epicenter principle, the quality of cleanliness will send the tone and tend to spread, like influence. We tend to reproduce what we are."

Uneasy Rider, but Fun, nonetheless

(Continued) Red Snapper is a delicacy, truly, and and just as tender as I remembered. We managed to save a bit for tomorrow's Sunday lunch if only to prove my point that the dish is "better the next day."
We go to Daytona Beach this coming weekend. My husband, "Karate" Keith, aka "Wild Man" has a white Kawasaki bike, and, in case you didn't know, biking is synonymous with Daytona Beach. I never fancied myself a "biker" but we are members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, a worldwide membership with headquarters in Hatfield, Arkansas at "Iron Mountain." So we are hardly the stereotype. I took to the sport like a little timid fish to murky water. When the "leathers" started looking fashionable to me, I took the bait. I have a elongated, safety-yellow helmet that makes me look like a rainforest insect, and it's windshield keeps my eyelashes on and protects my face from blowdrying out. Little does Keith know that I am closer to God than I ever am on the back of his ride. If prayers were bubbles, you would think we had just gone through a car wash and forgot to rinse. His bike features detailed airbrushed art--Samson between the pillars, a key and lock, a spread Eagle, a Holy Spirit Dove, and the declaration, "Heaven-bound." Honestly, if you don't have the attitude that you're ready to meet God, take my advice and don't ride. To relax, I imagine heavy metal inside my head and I close my eyes in turns and lane changes. Keith's favorite scripture calls out to passersby when kickstands are up. It declares Matt. 6:33- or "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." I'm happy to be a member of the CMA and you can learn more at There may be a Chapter in your area. Until then "keep it on two."//

Friday, August 21, 2009

Capt. Ben Marler's Baked Snapper

Have you seen Julie & Julia yet? If you have, you might be feeling like giving a little dinner party...
My Dad, Capt. Ben Marler, just gave me a beautiful red snapper that he caught, cleaned, wrapped in saran wrap, and froze for me. It is thawing in my refrigerator. You can buy hopefully buy Red Snapper at a fish market. I will prepare it Saturday to serve for Sunday dinner because it is better the next day as it must absorb all the flavors. There is really no substitute for the delicate sweet red snapper in this recipe. It's baked in a savory, tangy sauce made by sauteing onions, garlic and bell peppers in real bacon drippings (Bacon is in vogue in many recipes right now, too). Add an undrained can of tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, salt and pepper, 1 small bayleaf (optional) and cover, simmering on very low heat so as to not scorch the tomatoes or lose too much liquid. Add water if necessary. The aroma will be heavenly. In a rectangular glass baking dish, pour the sauce over the half side of snapper, skin side down. Place 3-4 lemon slices on the top. Bake in a preheated oven, covered, at 350 degrees until meat is white and flakes with a fork. It will have a silky texture. Then, resist devouring and cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, reheat, place 3-4 new lemon slices, discarding the old ones, over the snapper and garnish with parsley, if desired.
Here is an excerpt from my book found in the Destin Libary, describing my grandmother Cleo's weekly family dinner in the 1960's in Destin, Florida:
"We could hear her whistling in the kitchen, or talking on the base radio to my grandfather as he steered the boat back in to the dock, broadcasting on station call letters KCS 1395. The aroma of baked red snapper with tomatoes, onions, pepper, lemon and bacon was heady. She would be cooling down tea, and slicing lemons. There would be a relish tray with black olives, radishes, bell peppers. Brown and serve rolls, and whipped "cow butter" as my sister and I called it. She would have green salad with plain oil and vinegar for dressing. The white wrought iron and glass table in her large kitchen would be set with all the dishes within reach. A step ladder chair would be pulled up to the table with phone books on it for my little sister. We would have conversation, the news, the telephone ringing with boat reservations, and all, but we loved every animated, happy moment of it."

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Impressive Art of Straightening the Home(tm): Appreciate Your Life

The Impressive Art of Straightening the Home(tm): Appreciate Your Life

Appreciate Your Life

Do you appreciate your life?
The buzzword now seems to be "Love Your Life," and while that is excellent advice because so often, we focus on the negative and do not, yet on the other hand it seems a bit superficial and self gratifying.
The only way to appreciate your life, it seems to me, is to know what is truly important--
During the horrors of 911 and it's aftermath on our country, I was writing a book for my daughters. To give them a sense of who they are, and who they will become. To teach them the best parts of our family history. To let them grow and change, teaching them to worship and obey God. To show them how to care about and serve others. I wanted to give them a gift of self-esteem and bring a blessing which will last to the thousandth generation. Watching the World Trade Center crumble and smolder on television, I felt a desperate will to live, to want life to go on. For my children's sake. Not as before, but better. To appreciate the God-given miracle of living each day.
I realized that we Mothers must do this.
So, I sat down and wrote this very Mission Statement for my book, to wit:
To help women and their daughters to come into their inheritance with grace and understanding. To encourage them to model themselves after the "Wife of Noble Character" in Proverbs 31. To prepare them, hopefully, to become inheritors of all they are meant to receive, achieve, become and overcome in this life. And-I'm adding this now- to just plain have fun.
As my gift to you today, I'd like you to preview my book. Go to
The book is available only in ebook form now, but soon will be available to order through
You'll want a copy once you see it.
Ironically, though written for adults, the book's largest following have been elementary school libraries, where is it is popular AR reading book on the 5th grade level. Some children, boys and girls alike, checked it out many times.
Please follow my blog each day. I need your encouragement and you need mine. Appreciate your life and enjoy every second. Julia Child did.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lovely, Just Lovely...

It almost goes without saying that we loved it. The matinee at the MGM Grand Cineplex theater at the new Pier Park in Panama City, Florida was filled with other women of un-certain age, dressed almost as it were, for the occasion. The movie was delightful. I have already devoured half of the novel "Julie & Julia" by Julie Powell and a chapter of "My Life in France," written by Julia herself at the end of her life. And She lived. What struck me most about Julia Child, was her unfailing cheer, and endearing charm. She found all of the French people she met friendly and warm, and they loved and accepted her, too. She took life by the horns and just lived it, that's all. Life was thrilling to her. Meryl Streep was brilliant in her biographical portrayal, and in an interview on YouTube compared playing Julia to paying tribute to her own mother, who mirrored some of Julia's qualities of zest and verve. When I was about 6 years old, watching Julia's cooking program, saw her literally drop a very heavy roasted turkey, or was it ham, on the floor, slipping right off the platter, right on the air. She went on to wish everyone a hearty Bon Appetit and see you next time without missing a beat or showing any hint of embarrassment, pretending it never happened. I ran to my mother to tell her- that lady just dropped her dinner and they showed it on tv! That was Julia. It was lovely to have my own mother beside me again, laughing and reminiscing of the black-and-white tv days, when life was just "peachy" and women wore pearls and high heels in the kitchen. It was very touching, in the movie, when author Julie Powell's husband gave her a set of imitation pearls to celebrate her 30th birthday, and with tender emotion in front of party guests, she promptly snapped off her plastic pop bead pearls while he fastened the new ones at the nape of her neck. Go see this movie. And if at all possible, please see it with your mother.//

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bon Jour!

I am starting my blog by saying how much I am looking forward to seeing the new movie, Julie and Julia tomorrow with my Mother. I remember Julia Child's cooking program from 1963 when I was only 4 years old and just beginning my lifelong ambitions to be as much like my heros as possible . I am certain I will be inspired to create impressive dishes. Julia Child actually attended Cordon Bleu cooking school in France, bringing their secrets to America. I can attest that everything in France tastes delicious, even the food on Air France!
Incidentally, the Cordon Bleu has a website and a boutique!

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