Tag Archives: children

Sand and Sun and Family and Fun

Sand and Sun and Family and Fun

I just had one of the best weekends ever!  My daughter Erin, my Shih Tzu Atticus, and I left after work Friday afternoon and headed to Florida.  If you are an empty nester, as I am, you will understand how rare and how special it is to spend an entire weekend, uninterrupted, with your child.

The drive down and back was almost as fun as the days at the beach and shopping.  We got to our motel late Friday night.  It was our first time in a pet friendly motel and it was so much fun to meet other pets and their owners on the trip.  Atticus loved the king sized bed!


As we drove down, we discovered via Google that not all beaches are pet friendly.  Imagine that!  When we go back, and I hope we do very soon, we will know exactly where to stay and what beaches to enjoy.

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, we went over to Cape San Blas.  I just don’t have enough good things to say about it!  The white sand looked like sugar.  Our little stretch of beach was nearly deserted.  We had it – almost – to ourselves!  And we LOVED it!  As much as Erin and I loved it, just multiply that by 100, and that’s how much Atticus loved it.  Once he realized what the ocean and beach were, he couldn’t get enough!  He waded in the water, rolled in the sand, ran, chased birds, looked at sea shells, made new friends and smelled all the smells there were to smell!

There was a pet friendly mall nearby.  Atticus got tired so…IMG_1323

There were even several pet friendly restaurants.  (As long as we ate outside!)


On the way home, we got to see something that I have always heard about, but have never seen…the Boll Weevil monument in Enterprise, Alabama!


The entire weekend went by in a blur, leaving me wishing it could have lasted just a little longer.  Everything that we did was great!  But the greatest thing?  The very most wonderful thing…was spending three days of one on one time with my youngest daughter!  I think she had a fun time and I didn’t seem to get on here nerves too bad.  And having Atticus with us was just icing on the cake!  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Emily could have gotten away and gone with us.  Maybe next time!

So, what other recipe should I share, but Pecan Sandies!  (get it?)  My family has loved these little cookies for years.  Some call them Mexican Wedding Cookies or Danish Wedding Cookies or any other of a number of names.  I hope you enjoy these delicious, melt in your mouth cookies as much as we do!

Pecan Sandies

1 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups finely chopped pecans

2 cups all-purpose flour

powdered sugar


Cream butter until soft.


Add sugar, pecans and flour.  Mix very well.


Shape into balls and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


While hot, roll cookies in powdered sugar.





10 Years Already

10 Years Already

More cakes than I can count.  Enough cookies to fill several boxcars.  Pies, pies, and more pies. Pounds of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, a plethora of Poulet, fountains of fudge, bunches of bread and on and on and on.

And none of it means absolutely anything without customers.  Especially customers who have become friends.  Those very special customers who regularly enter.  The customers we worry about when it’s been a while since we’ve seen them.  The customers who have made us a part of their celebrations and special occasions.  The customers who have made us a part of their plain old Tuesday nights and Thursday lunches – a part of their lives.  We ask about your “mama and ‘nem” and you ask about ours.  Customer that aren’t customers anymore – they have become friends.

And none of it means absolutely anything without friends.  Those friends who cheered when we began this journey.  Friends who helped start the dream.  Friends who continue to stand and cheer and support and love.  Friendship is one of the greatest blessings God has given us.  That great Creator who fearfully and wonderfully made us all, who blesses us and blesses us again, saw fit to bless us even more with the ability to love and be loved by friends.

And none of it means absolutely anything without family.  My poor family!  They have listened to my tirades, borne through all-night baking sessions, shared my tears and shared my joys.  They were there at the beginning and, I’m confident, will be there throughout the ride – however long that might be.  These cakes and pies and cookies have put two girls through school, helped out through their college years, seen one through a wedding and one through nursing school.

And none of it means absolutely anything without my God.  My God who has seen fit to allow me to live out a dream  My God who has placed people in my path to help fulfill my dream.  And my God who loved me so much that I have a hope beyond this dream to an eternal home.

So many people have walked through those doors at 1207-F East Forrest Street.  So many friends, so many family members, so many strangers.  And each person has played a part in the building of a dream.

I must lovingly mention Mike and Nikki Ogles, who have done more for me than even they know. My parents, Ronald and Judy Chandler, who have loved and supported me even when I didn’t deserve it.  My children, Emily and Blake Persell and Erin Schrimsher, who have borne the brunt of it all.  Also my church family who have helped out when I needed a hand and have been my most loyal customers.  And, all of my employees, both past and present.  I’m so afraid to name everyone for fear of leaving someone out.  Thanks to them, things somehow, got done.

So today, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of “Suzanne’s Bakery and Eatery”, I want to say thanks to all who have prayed for, worried with, helped out, laughed with, cried with, encouraged, listened, advised, and bought with us for the past 10 years.  It’s been quite a ride!

Sweet Memories and Stinky Breath


My mind has wandered back to years past this week.  Probably because my youngest will be headed back to school this weekend.  While it’s true that she comes home most weekends, the weeks tend to get a little long sometimes.  So, I’ve been going through old pictures and old memories, just searching.  I wonder if this is the same way Mary felt in the book of Luke when it says she “treasured these things in her heart.”  There are many memories that I treasure.  

This is one of my favorites….

The girls were young.  Emily was 7, which would make Erin 3.  It was a school night with the normal “Come on and start getting ready for bed!” craziness.  If you have kids you know exactly what I am talking about.  

We had a small 20 acre farm at the time, about 20 minutes from town.  It was fenced all around with a catfish pond at the front of the place.  We lived in a mobile home right in the middle of the 20 acres, trying to save to build a house.  We had a few cows and a couple of horses.  It was a good life and we were all happy.

If you’ve never lived in a mobile home, you have missed out on the whole “linear living” experience.  Our kitchen and living room were at one end with the bedrooms and bathroom at the other end.  This setup allowed me to work in the kitchen and keep an eye on the girls in the living room at the same time.

On this particular night, the girls had already had their bath and were winding down in the living room with their little dog named Katie Dumplin’.  I don’t know where the Katie part came from, but this little dog absolutely loved chicken and dumplings, hence, the “dumplin'” part of her name.  Katie was part shih tzu, and part poodle, which would make her a shih toodle or a poozu, it really doesn’t matter.  What she was, was ugly.  You know those people you see at WalMart and say, “Bless her heart!”?  Well, Katie Dumplin’s heart had been blessed on numerous occasions by everyone that met her.  But, it didn’t matter.  We loved her and thought she was the best dog in the world.

As I said before, the girls had Katie Dumplin’ in the living room and were winding down with their “before bed” routine.  Their dad was working late that night and I was finishing up in the kitchen, half-way listening to their conversation.  I heard words like “breath” and “stink” and “OK, sounds good”.  In the hustle of getting things ready for bed, the things I heard just didn’t register completely.

I finished putting the dishes in cabinets, then looked over at the girls and their little dog.  Something just wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I walked the 6 steps into the living room, and my heart stopped.  I began to laugh so hard that I scared the girls and the dog when I flung myself onto the couch.  Katie Dumplin’ looked up and she was gagging and foaming at the mouth.  Was it rabies?  Was she sick?  No!  The girls had decided that Katie Dumplin’s breath smelled so  bad – which it did – that they needed to brush her teeth….

With their dad’s toothbrush!

And we were too close to bedtime and too far from town to go and buy him a new one.

And he didn’t love this little ugly dog quite as well as we did…

So, what were we to do?

Well, I did what any good wife would do.  I got a pan of water, set it to boil on the stove, and boiled his toothbrush.  Then I put it back in his toothbrush holder.  And told the girls never to speak of this again.

And now I have spoken of it.  But, we are divorced now, which makes this story just a little funnier……

I hope he finds out!


I am not much of a fish eater, but I do love hush puppies.  Here’s some of my favorites:


Jalepeno Hushpuppies

Vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil for frying
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
2/3  cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7-ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers, drained or 3/4 cup fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely diced

15 ounce can of creamed corn

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven.

In a 1-quart mixing bowl, stir the cornmeal, flour, onion, jalapeno, corn, and eggs, until blended. 
Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd; leave room for the hushpuppies to be turned. Cook the hushpuppies until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. 

These hushpuppies are great by themselves.  They are also very good dipped in ranch dressing.



This is Erin standing in our garden with Katie Dumplin’.  Bless her heart.