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Thanksgiving Reflections, Christmas Decor, *plus* a Recipe and Prayer Request

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy December, My Lovelies!  I hope my American friends had a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.


Shelley and I made gratitude journals for all the girls.

I was so busy with cooking and serving that I didn't take any photos on Thanksgiving Day.  I'm so disappointed that I didn't!  Meh!  We had a lovely day, and here is our menu:

Cajun Fried Turkey Breast
Smoked Turkey Breast in the Big Green Egg
Southern Dressing
Hericot Vert and Hearts of Palm Salad
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cheddar Biscuits
Jack Daniels Pecan Pie

If you want to try making real southern dressing for Christmas, here is the very best, simple recipe:

Southern Dressing

1 (8 inch) cornbread (white cornbread is best)
4 slices white bread
Chicken Broth (32 oz box)
3 medium onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

Break-up cornbread and white bread with your fingers.  Combine chicken broth, white bread and cornbread.  The broth should just come to the top of the bread and cornbread mixture.  Let soak until mushy.  Cook onions and celery in a saucepan with water to cover until done.  Pour everything including water over the cornbread mixture.  Add salt and pepper if desired.  Add eggs to the mixture.  Pour in a 13 X 9 X 2 inch pan, and bake at 350 until done.

Yield:  8 - 10 servings


I prefer Alabama King white cornmeal for my cornbread.  You can buy it pre-made if you like.  I always make mine a couple of days ahead to save time.

Use jumbo or extra large eggs.

Black Friday

I don't normally leave the house on Black Friday.  I like to decorate for Christmas and chill.  But Shanley Belle received an email about Barnes & Noble's special on Black Friday:  100 signed books by top writers.  We were psyched, and hoping our local store would stock some of our favorites.  We set our alarms, and arrived 15 minutes before the store opening, and we were expecting long lines for these signed special editions….I mean, surely every nerd in Birmingham would be there, right?!?!?

Wrong.  There was another dad there with his two teenage daughters who wanted signed YA books, and Shanley and I.  That's it.  We were lucky that we bought several signed editions, the very ones we wanted.

I took down all autumn/Thanksgiving decor on Saturday, washed and ironed Thanksgiving linens, and did the same for our Christmas linens.  Then I decorated our tree and and the house for Christmas.  Shanley and Trip went to the Alabama/Auburn game, and Shelley and I stayed home.  We were tired, but I worked until 2AM, so I should have gone to the game because I didn't rest at all!

Here's a little look at our Christmas decor:

Today is the first day of Advent, and I will be posting daily during the season because I'm keeping an advent art journal this year!  Here is the cover:

I'm displaying each page on a 7Gypsies stand.

Please come back this afternoon and see my Day 1 page.

Finally, I have a Prayer Request for one of our sweet neighbors, Zoe.  Zoe is a senior in HS, and one of Shelley's friends.  Her younger sister, Ally (sophomore in HS) has been featured several times on this blog.  Zoe was with her cousins at her grandmother's house on Thanksgiving, and a Rottweiler was startled by Zoe's ten-year-old cousin.  The dog attacked the child, and Zoe distracted the dog away from the child.  The Rottweiler then turned on Zoe and gave her serious gashes on her back and legs.  Some of the wounds are so severe, they can't be closed because there's no skin for suturing.  We're hoping she can come home from Children's Hospital today, and Shelley is anxious to see her and take her a treat or two.  Please pray for Zoe's recovery, and send positive thoughts her way.  She is a hero in my book.

Sorry for the long post.  ;P

Until next time…

Ricki Jill


  1. Ricki Jill, it is a treat to see a post from you. Yes, I will be back. A gratitude art journal is a wonderful idea. Eager to see what you share.
    Your Christmas touches in your home are wonderful. I'm busy working on our home for the season. The tree is up, but still busy with the rest.
    Yes, I will pray for Zoe and send positive energy her way. So frightening!
    Love to you, sweet friend!

  2. I am glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your Christmas decorations look beautiful. We put up one of the two trees and our Main Living Room is nearly done. I am in hopes by next weekend to have it all completed. I will pray for Zoe and hope she is able to come home today.

  3. Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful! Your menu is a lot like mine, we love southern dressing here too. Your Christmas decorations are lovely, I especially love the tree! I wish I was that far long. I’m so sorry to hear about the dog attack on Zoe. How awful it happened and I sure hope she has a quick recovery.
    Have a wonderful week..................

  4. Your decorations look beautiful! I am sorry to hear about Zoe, my thought and prayers are with her as she recovers.

  5. I will pray for Zoe. The photos of your decorating are beautiful. Happy waiting.

  6. Your place always looks wonderful at all times of the year. I love your use of colour!! I am definitely sending prayers your way, that is simply terrible. I am always horrified at these types of accidents. Always makes me wonder how the dog owners react.

  7. Ricki Jill,
    First, I will pray for Zoe and am saddened that this happened.
    Your Christmas decorations are wonderful and I love the idea of the handmade gratitude journals
    Enjoy this first week of December.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about Zoe and pray that she will be okay soon.

    Your Christmas decor is lovely - I worked at decorating on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I hope to finish today.

  9. Hello,
    Your decorations look wonderful.
    Yes, I will be praying for Zoe.
    Happy December!

  10. Your menu and the recipe sound delicious, Ricki Jill! Your Christmas decor is so very charming. Of course, I will definitely keep Zoe in my prayers. What an awful thing. I don't know the circumstances, but I am angry and in disbelief that the owner of a dog with such a temperamental personality, would even allow it to be anywhere close to people. Zoe is a hero, but she should not have had to be one. Rant.....rant.....okay, I'm done!

    Hope you have a happy week!

  11. Lovely decor, RJ! The candy cane pillow is great and I love your advent journal. Sending prayers for Zoe.

  12. I love how you found the perfect candy canes to go with your Mackenzie line!!! Looking forward to getting caught up with you (and hoping there is a good update on Zoe)


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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