196030_10150121605782431_592552430_6403881_2768155_nWhat is home? According to the Oxford Dictionary Online, home is “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” Home is so much more than this. It’s more about the people and the memories than about the place. Home is the place where one lives permanently in their mind.

To me, home is…

drinking fresh cow’s milk from aluminum cups

eating trout cooked over the campfire

homemade pecan pie

the smell of baking bread

cows in the field

figs from the tree

endless games of softball, jacks, and war

homemade butter spread thick on homemade bread

panfried steak from a cow named Beefsteak

Grandma saving the turkey carcass from Christmas to make gumbo for New Years

canned figs and strawberry jam


the sound of cicadas at night

moving boxes

playing outside until dark

Grandma crocheting while she watched her shows

Atlanta Braves baseball

lime jello with pineapple

leftovers in old hubcaps to feed the cats

the smell of hay

my aunt’s treehouse and calling her on the phone from the house


Lava soap

fun with my cousins

the sound of airplanes flying over

green apples

whistling with blades of grass

swinging statues

country music

roller skating

Grandma’s attic full of treasures

the needlepoint horse which lives in my kitchen because it was in grandma’s kitchen

riding in the back of the truck or in the “back back home”


playing cards

John Wayne movies

chicken enchilada casserole

pancakes for dinner

sitting around the table in the kitchen

“Look out Ned, we’re headed for the bushes!”


I think one of the reasons I enjoy cooking so much is because we spent a lot of time in kitchens when I was growing up. Both of my grandmas were phenomenal cooks and my parents both taught me to cook. Many of my favorite childhood memories revolve around food and the kitchen table.

To me, home is a kitchen full of good food and people I love.





Chicken Taco Rice



6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning
3 cups water
2 cups minute rice
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon garlic

1. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and brown in oil.
2. Add salsa, taco seasoning, Garlic and tumeric.
3. Simmer, stirring to get the chicken pieces coated with spices.
4. Add water and bring to a
rolling boil.
5. Add rice, cover and remove from heat.
6. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
7. You can top with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, or sour cream. Or just enjoy plain!

Some Books for Now and Some Books for Later by Donalyn Miller

Nerdy Book Club

I learned to read at a young age, and my parents soon lost the ability or will to monitor my reading choices. They trusted me to find books and navigate the ideas in what I read with little parental oversight. Occasionally, I would ask my mom about specific words or scenes that I didn’t understand, but I approached most books at whatever access point I was ready to approach them.

In middle school, I read a lot of Stephen King. It was the 80’s. King’s books and stories were made into successful movies like The Shining and Creepshow, and King was a popular cultural figure. Beyond the violence—which was expected—King’s books had a lot of sex, drinking, and cussing in them. I regularly gave myself nightmares falling asleep while reading books like Cujo and ‘Salem’s Lot. For almost a year, I wide-stepped from my bedroom doorway to my…

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