Monday, October 27, 2008

It was Christmas at our house today. Yep. You read that right. We let Blair open her Christmas present. For those of you who don't know my family, Blair is our 22 year old daughter. Now, you might be asking yourself why we would let her open her gift in October. We have a good reason, really, we do.

Blair starts practical nursing school November 3rd! We are so very PROUD of her and excited for her. She has been working as a nurse tech at a hospital and is ready to jump head first into this career. We wanted to show her how we feel and just didn't see any reason to wait until December 25th. So, we didn't.

Can you guess what we gave her?

It wasn't a stethoscope.

Guess again.

It wasn't a pair of white support hose.

One more guess.

It wasn't one of those cool 1950s nurse hats.

It was a ..............................................


She was surprised and excited. It was fun to do something so totally unexpected.

Merry Christmas to you, too!

Sunday Baker (Tanya) is celebrating her one year blog anniversary. Go on over to and enter her giveaway! Tell her One of Nettie's Girls sent you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It’s almost Thanksgiving and I cannot wait to gather with my family and friends for the annual Jernigan Thanksgiving. This year it will be in Hot Springs where my sister Debe lives. Of course, I am looking forward to being with my three dear sisters but……………truth be told, I look forward to the goodies, too. You know, the FOOD!

Here's the clan a couple of years ago at my house for Thanksgiving.

So, it got me thinking about holiday food and what makes it holiday food. In our group they include Mom’s Famous Lemon Fruitcake (don’t flinch til you’ve tried it-out of this world!) and Rhonda’s Cream Cheese Muffins. We only eat these at Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving without Mom I determined that we couldn’t go without her fruitcake so I am now the baker of that lemony, nutty sweet. You really should try some. I wish I could send a slice to everyone and forever lay to rest your misgivings about all cakes of fruit. The Cream Cheese Muffin recipe was found in a newspaper years ago and became a staple once served at a family gathering. These moist, gooey balls of dough filled with cream cheese and coated in butter and cinnamon are mmm, mmm good.

I am sure that some of you are like our family and there are items that you ONLY eat on certain holidays. Here’s your chance to tell us about your awesome annual delights.

What dish or treat is ONLY served on a holiday at your family get-togethers? And, is there a special story behind it? We love background!

I need to start my list of fabulous things to take to Hot Springs this year. I will be taking the Lemon Fruitcake as always but try to find something new to introduce each year, hoping that we will discover a new must-have, eat it once a year, only Auntievee can bake it that good treat. If you have any suggestions for me, let me know?

Fall IS my favorite time of year and I know it is because I will get to spend several days with my wonderfully dear family. I hope you are blessed as I am.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I have been going through some boxes in our garage, determining what needs to be kept and what should be tossed. I am not very good at this. Evidently I am afflicted with a condition that causes me to feel if I saved something at one time it must be saved for ALL time!
Here's a question for you: What kinds of things do you HAVE to keep and what are you comfortable with throwing out?
My sister Nora and my husband Dennis are not afflicted in this way at all. They have the ability to open drawers and boxes and, in one swoop, dump it all in the trash bin. They don't pick up every piece of paper and envelope and peruse the contents on the outside chance that some treasure has been hidden there for generations, or at least months.
So, Saturday found me sitting on a chair in my garage, surrounded by boxes of things that I have saved since before we had children. (Our son will be 28 in February!) I could not believe some of the things I have saved for over thirty years. Actually, there were things dating back to high school for me and I graduated in 1974! I fancied myself a writer back then and had a notebook full of original writings. Lucky for the literary world the notebook was somewhat water damaged in our flood last April so I threw it away. Yes, I cannot believe it myself.
There were cards from people that I haven't seen or spoken to in more than thirty years. There were old school assignments. And old term paper. Newspaper clipping detailing some big story in the news for 1987-remember Baby Jessica who fell down a well? Why I thought I would need to be able to chronicle that story escapes me. Cancelled checks from 1983? Seriously, why did I still have that stuff?
But, to be sure, there were some fun things. A great newspaper clipping of my sis Nora in an ad for the fitness salon-Venus de Milo. This was from about 1978:

I found beautiful letters from my niece Nikki when she was a child. She is now in her early thirties. Those I am keeping because, for some reason, she really does think the world of me. I may need proof of that sometime down the road.
I found one of my senior pictures. It was actually the one Mom and Dad had hanging in the hallway of their home along with the four of my sisters. Do you want to see it? Okay. Remember, this was 1974:

Right now I have three boxes out there: 1) Keep 2) Throw away 3) Shred. I am happy to report that the throw away and shred boxes are bigger than the keep box.
Tell me about your keepsakes and answer the question above.
BTW: My dear little friend Whitney is having a contest-go to

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Day To Remember

I have spent today thinking about my mom-the Nettie mentioned in my blog title. Today would have been her birthday. She died suddenly on March 2, 2005 at 4:15 a.m. after suffering a massive heart attack.
My own birthday came in August that year. (Well, it comes in August every year………but, oh well.) I think I felt her absence more that day than I had any day so far, even the day we buried her. It was the first birthday in my memory that I didn’t hear her say “Guess what I was doing X number of years ago today?” I loved the way she asked that question as if it were the first time every time. I can hear her voice and see her smile even now.
Then, along came October 17th that year and I wondered how I would get through her birthday. I felt like bursting into tears every time someone spoke to me and knew that I would have to find a way of coping at work. Leave it to my sisters to make that possible for me. Each one of them made sure to let the others know that they were thinking of them and thanking God for the gift of each other. Being reminded of the great treasure we have in each other made it possible for me to make it through that hard day.
Today was the third birthday for her since her passing. I didn’t spend the day in tears or even have terribly sad thoughts. I have been thinking about this day for about two weeks, wondering if I would be sad. I have thought about my sisters and wondered if they were doing well this week. But, I have spent most of my thoughts about her just remembering how blessed we were to have her for the years we did.
Earlier this year, after the death of my youngest sister, one of my nieces sent this note of encouragement to all of us:
“James Patterson wrote, “I won’t lie to you. I won’t say why God would take her now. But if the fact that she was sent here among us doesn’t point to a loving God, then I can’t help you.”
And so, maybe that is it. The Lord in his infinite mercy loans us those that have the power to shape us, people who are fallible, people who try their best and sometimes still end up short, people who inspire us to leave this world better than how we found it, people whose absence leaves those left behind with the uncertainty and sometimes the unwillingness to carry on without them. And maybe that too is a gift: to feel that deeply, to love that much, to have had them in our lives even for a short while.”
I do believe that God’s mercy is infinite and that His love is indescribable. And that He chose to give me almost 49 years with my mother and I am so thankful for that.
Happy Birthday Mom. I hope you are beating Daddy in a game of Scrabble using all those words you learned with the letter Z!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Long Has It Been?

If you are one of the lucky women in the world, you have a sister or two or, like me, three. How long has it been since you called her? How long since you let her know how much she means to you? When was the last time you wrote her a long letter? What was the last thing you saw and thought "I have to get that for my sister! She will love it!"?

Tonight I talked to my sister Rhonda for about an hour. We usually talk every Saturday night and we missed last week due to my crazy weekend activities. Tonight I didn't make it home from a community function in time for her call so I had to call her back as soon as I walked in the door. As always, she answered and said, "Hang up-I'll call you back." See, she has a plan where she pays one base rate for the month and can call long distance all she wants. So, we always talk on her dime.

We both agreed that two weeks without hearing each other's voice was just too long. We e-mail several times during the week and usually talk to one of the other sisters who can catch us up if we haven't talked to another sister. But, it is not the same as hearing her voice. Each one of my sisters can evoke certain emotions and memories just from the sound of her voice. I am most blessed to enjoy a best friends relationship with each of my sisters. It is interesting that the older I get the more I realize how much they have shaped me and made me who I am today. Sisters are your first playmates, your first friends, your first enemies, your first bodyguards, your first confidants. And, something tells me that mine will be my last of each of those roles, too. I plan to stick with them and I know they will do the same for me.

Nora, Rhonda, Debe - I love you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I NEED............ award winning dessert recipe!

This weekend is our town's fall festival which culminates with the S.P.I.C.E. Auction. (Special Partners in Children's Education) Part of this annual event is a dessert contest. Every year I say that I am going to enter and then I chicken out. This year I really do want to submit an entry. I just can't think of what to bake. The categories are cakes, pies and other. Obviously, the "other" category leaves the field wide open.

I love to cook and if I was entering a recipe contest for soup or chicken or casseroles, etc. I could think of dozens of things to submit. I have done my share of baking, but I don't seem to have a signature dessert. And, now I need one by Saturday afternoon! Here are the things I am considering right now. I have made each of these more than once so I am not pulling something new out to experiment.

Incredibly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies - these moist, yummy treats have 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding baked right into them which give them a unique fluffiness and taste.

Pecan Cream Cheese Squares - these are very rich and so much easier than a pie.

Poppy Seed Bundt Cake - moist and tasty and even better with a light orange glaze on top.

German Chocolate Cake - a few years ago I found a recipe for frosting this cake that is the best I have ever tasted. It has real butter and real vanilla and sweetened condensed milk and is to die for if you are a GCC addict.

Anything there sound like blue ribbon material? Please vote and let me know. Thanks.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Our pastor spoke today about characteristics of the early church. We were studying the latter part of chapter two of the book of Acts. He pointed out some of the things the church was "devoting themselves to". One of those was fellowship. Being a Baptist I know that fellowship is often thought of as a potluck dinner after church. He alluded to that misconception in his sermon. He said many good things today that made me re-think my understanding of fellowship but one in particular stood out to me. We know that the church is to be light and preach about the Light-Jesus. People need to see that light. But, most people are looking more for warmth than they are light. People want to feel welcomed and loved and accepted and at home. So much of the time in our church life we concentrate on polishing our lamps and making sure our lights are bright but forget to make sure the glow from our light is close enough to warm anyone. Are we keeping our distance so that nothing makes our light go out? We are good at being light on Sunday but what about the rest of the time? What about our Monday through Saturday lives? What about letting them in close enough to see the cracks in our "my life is so perfect" facade? I get so caught up in my schedule and my routine and what I want that I seldom leave room for God to use me if He wanted to do so. I need to let God show me what He wants and where He wants me to open up my life. And, I need to do this without checking my calendar for availability!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm talking about a Mental Health Day. I needed one this evening after work. So, I called someone in my Wednesday night class at church and told them to tell everyone I wouldn't be there. You're probably thinking that I have a rather high opinion of myself if I think EVERYONE will care that I am not there for group. But, after all, .........................I am the teacher! I love my job. I love my co-workers. I am just dealing with some stressful situations at work and they came to an oozing, festering head today. (Oops, maybe a little too graphic there.) I left work and headed home. I know that for some people the drive home from work is a time to de-stress and get all that stuff out of your system so you are fresh for your family. I live maybe a mile from my job, so there isn't a lot of time for a cooling off period. I told my husband that I was not going to teach my class tonight because I needed a MHD. He is always supportive of whatever I do so he said fine with him. My sweet little eleven year old had already cooked dinner for us since it was my late night at work. I had to work until 6 and class starts at 7. I was just feeling a little crushed and closed in by my schedule and decided to relax. Hubby took child to church and I slumped on the couch with a plateful of hamburger stroganoff. Delightfully sinful, fattening comfort food. So good. I am already feeling better. Things at work haven't changed and I won't know the true outcome of things until tomorrow but at least I am taking care of myself. We have to do that sometimes. I forget that it is okay to have boundaries and to establish my own "border patrols" if necessary. So often people get entangled in the "you shoulds" and forget that they do indeed have choices. Take a Mental Health Day. Doctor's orders!