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It’s time for Currently!  Here we go!  I am currently…


Discovering:  Well, REdiscovering just how clever the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass is!  I posted a review of the movie when it was in theaters, and now it’s out on Blu-Ray.  This is an excellent movie on every level.  It’s a feast for your eyes, your ears, and your heart!


Celebrating:  Meeting a big goal!  I signed up for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge, and I did it!  I wrote my series, Michael Ann’s Kitchen, and posted every single day of October!  As is typical when we push ourselves to do something hard, I learned a LOT!  I learned tons about blogging in general, WordPress, and the powerful tools available to me via remarkable apps like Canva and Pic Monkey.  I’m exhausted, and I’m exhilarated!


From my birthdaypalooza last week!  More about the cake here.

Starting:  Well, REstarting a concerted effort to make wise food choices and to exercise.  I’ve been off my game for a while, and then Hurricane Matthew threw me for a loop emotionally (even though we made it through just fine).  That emotional exhaustion plus two birthdaypaloozas (mine and my daughter’s) plus the Write 31 Days challenge totally upset my apple cart!  It’s time to right the cart and get back on the wagon.  (Oh dear!  My tired is showing!  Moving on…)


My daughter and me on Sunday, October 30.

Wearing:  Let’s talk about what I’m NOT wearing.  The temperatures here in Coastal Georgia are STILL pushing 90 degrees.  In November.  Ugh.  So I’m NOT wearing my beloved hoodies, boots, or jackets.  It’s sad really.

(Well, there WAS that weekend camping trip last month near Chattanooga, Tennessee when the temps dipped to just shy of freezing!  Bliss, I tell you!  And, yes, we tent camp.  Stay tuned for more about that trip!)


Googling:  More electric pressure cooker recipes and charts.  I wrote about how much I’m enjoying my pressure cooker several weeks ago, and I’m still loving it.  I’m considering buying an Instant Pot because (1) I’d like to see how it compares to my Farberware pressure cooker, and (2) some days I’d like to have TWO of them to use!

That’s what *I* am up to these days!  How about you?  Let me know in the comment section!

I’m linking up today with Anne of In Residence and Catherine of A Short Blonde.  Be sure to see what THEY are currently up to as well!


A Post-Halloween Chuckle

A Post-Halloween Chuckle


My daughter is an incredible artist/writer and a beautiful, lovely woman.  The way she paints with words stuns me every time, and BOY, can she make me laugh!  Did I mention she’s an introvert?  She was a riot last night during trick or treating (which totally stresses her out).  She decided SOMETHING needs to change.  I present for your consideration, her (hysterical) proposal!

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I Did It! #Write31Days

I Did It! #Write31Days

Wow!  I’m sitting here in a Halloween carb coma–I blame the Moon Pies, pork lo mein, and Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard that may or may not have been consumed tonight–and I’m thinking back over the last few weeks and what I’ve experienced.  Some of my expectations of this Write 31 Days challenge proved to be accurate, but I was surprised by several things!

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I’ll be back later tonight for a wrap up of Michael Ann’s Kitchen, but for now, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Have a great, fun evening!

We’re ready for our neighborhood trick or treaters!  #halloweensouthernstyle


Vintage Cake Plates

Vintage Cake Plates

“Vintage” seems to be the word of the week!  I’m learning a lot about myself by doing this series.  Apparently I like vintage things more than I thought!

Today I want to show you how I use vintage cake plates in a new way. My wonderful mother-in-law gave these to me a while back, and I’ve had fun incorporating them into my kitchen.



The larger one anchors my favorite corner in the kitchen!  It sits beside the stove and holds my olive oil and vinegars, pepper grinder, and salt pig. I like the way it lifts them off the countertop.

Then I snugged in my autumn leaf plate which I use as a spoon rest and my larger salt pig which holds nutritional yeast.


That vignette makes me smile every time I see it!


I use the smaller cake plate on my kitchen island to hold random, small objects that need a temporary home.

Hooray for using pretty things in unexpected ways in the kitchen!


If you’re curious about my salt pigs, check out my earlier post, What IS a Salt Pig Anyway?!?  (Aren’t they cute?!?)

Thank you for stopping by today!  This is Day 29 of Michael Ann’s kitchen, a special series for the Write 31 Days challenge.


A Table Treasure

A Table Treasure

A couple of you have asked about my dining table, and I’m excited to tell you about it!


My great-grandfather built this table in the late 1960s or early 1970s!  He was a great man and a talented carpenter. My dad stopped by Great-Granddaddy’s farm one day and found him in his shop building this very table.  

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What’s in the Hutch?

What’s in the Hutch?

A couple of days ago I showed you the sweet, vintage hutch my husband and I bought locally at Finders Keepers Furniture.  It’s working just as well as I had hoped!  I really love it.  (And yes, Arwen quickly hopped up on top of it and snuggled into her basket!)


I promised to show you what’s inside the hutch, and then I promptly got distracted by raccoons.  Today I’m back on track!  (No sign of the raccoons today!)



Insert a happy sigh here!  This whole thing is just good for my blood pressure!


On the top shelf is my vintage cake plate.  I shared the story behind it (and a favorite recipe!) here.!  Just under the cake plate is our big, Polish pottery soup tureen.  This was an incredibly sweet gift from friends of ours when we left Germany the second time.  To the right of that is a matryoshka (Russian nesting doll), a souvenir from our 1993 trip to Russia, and a couple of small bunny figurines.  The one on the right is a visual reminder to pray for a special friend of mine.  (I gave one to her and kept an identical one for me.)


On the right hand side of the top shelf is a navy blue tea pot I bought when we lived in England and a few pieces from my childhood tea set.  Almost all these little pieces are glued together, but I’m glad to have them!  On the shelf below these items is a roaster pan set that I got in Poland.


On the left side of the bottom shelf is my fancy shmancy crystal cake plate.


On the right hand side of the bottom shelf I have a grouping of three items.  The photo was taken at my junior prom in 1986.  Gene and I had been dating for one year!  (Our first date was his senior prom, one year earlier!)  The figurine of the bride and groom was our wedding cake topper in 1989.  I can’t remember where or when I got the rooster pitcher, but I do know it’s considered to bring good luck and protection.  You can read the story about that here if you’re curious!

That’s everything in the top of the hutch.  Here’s a quick peek at what’s in the bottom, including one impossibly cute, curious kitten!



Just in case you’re curious about what’s over to the right of the hutch, it’s our printer and a basket sitting on a little gate-leg table.


I have two of these baskets because I like them so much.  They’re woven of rolled-up newspaper and magazine pages!  I found them at Pier 1 a few years ago.  They’re perfect for holding filing folders and magazines.


So now you know what all is tucked into the cute little hutch!  Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with me a little while!

This is Day 27 of the Write 31 Days challenge and Michael Ann’s Kitchen.  You can look back over all the posts in this series here.

Do you like to decorate with items that are special to you?  Tell me about some of them in the comment section below!  I love follow-up conversations!


Michael Ann’s…Raccoons?!?

Michael Ann’s…Raccoons?!?

This is Day 26 of Michael Ann’s Kitchen, a special Write 31 Days series here on OutAndBack.  Today I just MUST go rogue. Just this once.  Because…raccoons.

Yep.  Raccoons.

Our house backs onto protected wetlands, and I’m fully aware that the woods back there are full of critters.  My daughter wrangled our second red-bellied watersnake–non-venomous, protected here in Georgia–out of the yard and back into the swampy area just a couple of weeks ago.  (Mom fail on that one.  I did not get any pictures.  Because I was busy being freaked out and “helpful.”  I use that term loosely.)

But last night raccoons showed up for the first time! 

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Our New Addition

Our New Addition

We adopted a new/old hutch!  It’s an old hutch, but it’s new to us!  Hooray for old furniture!


My husband recently asked if we could replace the “china cabinets” in our kitchen/dining area with something different.  Shop for a new piece of furniture?!?  SURE!  I can do that!  I found this pretty little piece at Finders Keepers Furniture, a vintage furniture and home decor shop.

Look how much it brightens up our dining area!

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Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet


This will be short and sweet today. REALLY sweet!

May I introduce to you Chess Pie!  I don’t remember ever having this before last year. A friend of ours, Jake, was getting ready to celebrate a birthday, so I asked him what kind of birthday cake or pie he’d like.  I/we wanted to do something special for him.

He said he really liked Chess Pie. Huh?  I had no idea what that was, but I told him I’d make him one and headed straight to the Google!

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