Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

A Merry Heart– “As We Age…”

I’m the youngest among my husband’s brother, sister, and in-laws; and we have all passed the 50-mark, so a popular conversation is “as we age…” We bemoan the challenges and gripe about doctors that begin sentences with that dreaded phrase!

I just found Mary Maxwell and I believe she might be a new favorite. She is reading the opening prayer at a home health agency’s banquet. But be sure to keep listening– the first minute and a half sound like a regular prayer, then she gets very funny.

She has a blog, Laughing with Mary Maxwell, on a larger blog about long-term caregivers. If you are in that season of life, I would imagine she would have some great insight!

In the meantime, enjoy… and if you aren’t quite there yet, wait just a while. It’ll get here quicker than you can imagine!


A Merry Heart– May 12– Mother’s Day Edition

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Happy Mother’s Day! Here are 2 funny but true depictions of a mom’s life by Anita Renfroe. Enjoy!


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A Merry Heart– March 3

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

If you don’t work with teenagers, you might have missed the latest thing– screaming goats. (or at least I think it’s the latest! Things sometimes take a while to get down here in our small towns in the South.) Mr X insists that they are fake, but I’m not sure. They are so funny, anyway!

Here’s Justin Bieber

And a talking goat…

And for the classical music lovers among us… The Queen of the Night…

Just a little silliness to get your giggle box turned over. Have a wonderful Sunday!

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A Merry Heart– February 3

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

Today I can’t really decide what to share, so I’m sharing a bit of this and a bit of that! (This picture is showing Texas wildflowers in April– I’m sure this is in our Hill Country. Beautiful, yes?

For your spirit

If you have never had the opportunity to be blessed by Thelma Wells, you have missed out! She used to be a regular speaker with the Women of Faith team and I got to hear her speak several times; she tended to be my favorite. She has quite a lot of material available on Youtube– here is just a teaser.

For your ears

Billy Joel performing “Piano Man” live in 1975. Many artists rely so much on studio manipulation that live performances are awful– but he is such a good musician, it’s still really good.

For your eyes

I’ve seen pictures of Butchart Gardens on Pinterest– this is really pretty and for you poor folks in the snow this will give you some hope of Spring!

For your funny bone
Don’t be put off by the length of this one– it’s a medley of short clips.

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Home Organization– Keepin’ It Real

Surely you don’t EVER start to think that Auntie Em has it all together, do you? Because you would be sadly mistaken. I think you know the truth, but love me anyway. That is what I have discovered about my little corner of the blogosphere: Bloggers and blog readers — at least the ones that run in my circle — are the kindest, most gracious people anywhere. They cheer you on when you need it; encourage you when you are down; and laugh at your corny jokes.

THANK YOU! You are appreciated!

Over the Christmas holidays, between motorcycle accident (Mr X) and upper respiratory infection (me) recovery, I managed to do my normal bit of beginning to organize the house. It’s been a dream for about 15 years, to lay my hands on everything in the house and make sure it’s up-t0-date and where it should be. (We have lived in this house 15 1/2 years.) I’ve never finished, but I’ve done parts. This time I did my closet, my bathroom cabinets, the refrigerator, and the pantry.

A friend of a friend organized a community garage sale to raise money to send to the Sandy Hook families, so I took some things there. Mr X’s co- worker was holding a blanket drive so we sent a couple that we had replaced there. A church members works for a community charity that aids needy families, especially when their homes burn, and I sent my dishes that we replaced with her. I had a zillion hotel shampoos and lotions that I sent to a friend who works with the Christian Women’s Job Corps.

What I was happy to find lurking in the depths: 1 bottle of Lancôme eye makeup remover; 1 queen-sized thermal blanket; 1 bottle of Zyrtec. I put these to good use.

Several friends brought food for us when we got back from the hospital, so I was forced to clean out the refrigerator. I have always used a turntable but got another one, even before the latest Pinterest pin began circulating!


What I was embarrassed to find in the refrigerator:

Sour cream … May 14, 2012


Beef broth… September 22, 2011


UGH. Cottage cheese… May 12, 2011


Feeling better about your life now??


These are a Few of My Favorite Things

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Over the Christmas holidays I caught up on LOTS of blog reading– I saw several who were taking part in Ann Voscamp’s 1000 Gifts Joy Dare and thought what a good idea that would be. I ultimately decided that I could so easily become obsessed with “keeping up” that it might do me more harm than good, so instead of counting, I’m working hard on keeping a thankful heart all the time. One evening I looked around my kitchen and took some pictures of some of the things I’m really thankful for, so many gifts that I could spin around and see without taking a step. I am blessed beyond measure.

If you’d like to get in the mood, listen to Julie Andrews sing “My Favorite Things” while you read! From when my kids were tiny, I’d sing this when something bad was happening– shots, sickness, broken hearts, pets dying…

I love dishes and kitchenware! Sis got me this new bowl for Christmas.

And the amazing thing was how well it went with my Fiestaware (which I also love) that I already had!


I love a hot cup of Constant Comment tea when I get home from school in the afternoon.


I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. Mr X got it for me for Christmas about 20 years ago. (Some women don’t like kitchen tools as gifts– not me!)


I love this dipper. Granny just gave it to us over the holidays. It belonged to Mr X’s great-grandmother and she kept it on a nail by her sink, and everyone who needed a drink of water used it. (People were tougher back then, and viruses were weaker!) He drinks out of it now.


I love my pantry. After Hurricane Rita we replaced out cabinets and put this in. Thank you Home Depot!


We also added a built-in buffet and this display cabinet. I have lots of glassware that belonged to my grandmother.


I love my Lenox Holiday china. For several Christmases Mr X had gotten me a serving piece, then after Christmas in 2007, he bought several dinner and salad plates, plus a platter and vegetable dish, to give me the next year. (on the sly, and at half-price!) In September of 2008 Hurricane Ike hit, and as I was preparing to evacuate (he has to stay since he works for the electric company) and was sinking fast, thinking it was going to be like Rita again, he brought out my Christmas present early to cheer me up. Sis and her husband spent the night with us so we could leave together the next morning, and we ate on it in case our house got smashed.


I love my Wusthof knives. Another Christmas gift.


I love coffee in the morning. Mr X fixes it the night before, and sets out my cup and Splenda for me.


I love our refrigerator memory gallery. That’s my (and the girls’) piano teacher in the upper left with Sis and me, and my mother on the lower left. We get magnets from places we visit.


I love our little stray cat that adopted us. We call him “Bullet” because he runs around like crazy. He is marked a lot like our black and white cat, Max. I love the way Mr X is such a cat person! Knowing him, you wouldn’t expect it, but he’s a big softie about those cats.


I love the fact that my girls are crafty. Sunshine made this cake for a baby shower.

sunshine's cake

Sis made these cupcakes for the  birthday party of a friend’s little girl.

And my friends, I love the fact that YOU are reading my blog! I pray for you. I pray that God will give me words to speak, to meet needs.

Look around. See what you love. We have been extravagantly gifted. What are you thankful for today?


I’m Just a Girl who Cain’t Say No

Or at least I USED to be. I’ve struggled with it for years, because I would like to do so much more than my schedule, energy, and priorities allow.

Come on over to A Biblical Marriage and read my post about Overcoming Overcommitment during the holiday season– quite a challenge! And you can listen to Ado Annie while you read!

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A Merry Heart–December 9


A merry heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22


Today my Merry Heart is a bit different than usual — in honor of Mr X’s being released by the doctor following his motorcycle accident, I will share some of the corny jokes that he and Sunshine love to  torture entertain us with.

What do you call a deer with no eyes?
No-eye deer. (Say it out loud and pretend you’re from Texas. It’ll make sense.)

What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
Still no-eye deer.

What do you call a dog with no legs?
It doesn’t matter, he’s not coming anyway.

Why do dogs make such lousy dancers?
Because they have two left feet!

What’s the #1 use for cowhide?
To hold cows together

How many sides are on a barrel?
2– the inside and outside

Why do cows wear bells?
Because their horns don’t work

How far can a dog run into the woods?
Halfway. After that, he’s running out!

What’s brown and sticky?
A stick

What does a fish say when he runs into a wall?

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef

What do you call a cow with 2 legs?
Lean beef

How do you catch a unique rabbit?
U-nique up on him!

How do you catch a tame rabbit?
Tame way.

What kind of jelly does a whale eat on his toast?
Jelly fish

Which is the funniest state?

Why are there so many Smiths in the Houston phone book?
They all have phones.



A Merry Heart- September 9

A merry heart is good medicine…

Proverbs 17:22

This is too funny! Enjoy– have a good time at church today- I hope you get a good lunch and a good nap!

(And join me tomorrow for Revive your marriage- Revive your attitude, and Wednesday for Life Lessons from Philippians 4- Be Anxious for nothing!)

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A Merry Heart- September 2

A couple of weeks ago, Sis, Sunshine, and I, along with a few other friends, had a girls’ night out and went to see TNT’s 60th anniversary theater showing of “Singin’ in the Rain.” It had been a long time since I watched it all the way through, and of course I had never seen it in a theater– it was wonderful!


One of my favorite numbers is Donald O’Conner in “Make ‘Em Laugh.” As a choir teacher, I have learned that this lesson is very true… audiences love to laugh! So enjoy… make your heart merry!

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