Arkie Mama: A Christmas gift for my in-laws

Several years ago, my mother-in-law gave everyone a binder full of her most-loved recipes for Christmas. I don’t know about everyone else, but mine has been used a lot. And it’s showing the wear and tear.

My mother-in-law passed away last February. This will be a difficult Christmas for her large family.

So I decided to get creative and put together a sturdier cookbook filled with photos from past and present. I’m planning to give them to my father-in-law, Hubs, two brothers-in-law, my stepdaughter and one of her cousins.

Take a look at it and tell me what you think. I’m this close to putting in my order.

Go here. Then scroll to the bottom until you get to My Photobooks.

Here are a few of my favorite photos in it.

Mammaw shopping with her mother

Mammaw shopping with her mother

Newly married

Newly married



Arkie Mama: For Thanksgiving, I made two casseroles, one dessert and broke a toe

Remember my post about my brother-in-law’s wife, Perfect Linda and how this was going to be my big year?

I had everything planned: my contributions to the dinner, my outfit and my children’s outfits. I imagined sweeping into Perfect Linda’s house, attired in my new sweater dress, carrying my food offerings and wearing a serene smile.

Instead, Hubs had to carry the food while I limped and hobbled along behind him.

So much for my moment of glory.

That afternoon, after whipping up a very pretty banana pudding, I somehow managed to stub the two last toes on my left foot. Trying to preserve at least a shred of dignity, I pulled myself up and hobbled into my father-in-law’s guest bedroom, where Hubs found me cussing a blue streak.

Putting on my tights and boots? AGONY. But I hadn’t brought anything else to wear to dinner.

By the time we drove the 3 1/2 hours home, my toes sported shades of blue and purple.

I’m quite certain the next-to-last toe is broken. Being a klutz, I’m no stranger to broken toes, sadly.

But while my grand entrance was marred, I did manage to get a few raves about my dishes.

My husband’s collage-age niece dashed into Perfect Linda’s kitchen, telling everyone how she couldn’t wait to load up on my banana pudding. And my brother-in-law praised my corn casserole.

So I’m declaring a victory this year, even though I had to cripple myself to pull it off!