Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hello - I'm From the South and I Can't Make Biscuits....

Biscuit 1
PRETTY - but not a real biscuit. This recipe called for all manner of things, including sugar and an egg and cream of tartar. Clip and Save: Biscuit recipes calling for sugar and eggs and cream of tartar do not make biscuits. Where I come from, that makes cake. Lay some strawberries and whipped creme on these suckers and have dessert.

Biscuit 2
Looks pretty good - but more "crispy" than the biscuits made in my family. Taste is pretty good - but not what I'm looking for. Note: When these get cold, they can injure small animals.

I am ashamed.
I'm a good old gal from the South and, while I can make all manner of delicious things to eat, I cannot make good biscuits.
I am totally ashamed of myself.
I don't feel completely "bona fide". I have a friend who makes all kinds of commotion and carrying on about how good my cooking is, so I have been hesitant to tell him I cannot make good biscuits.
Good biscuit-making ran in my family - until I came along. It all stopped with my generation. As far as I know, neither of my Sisters can make up a good biscuit either. My Mama got her first biscuit-making lesson when she was five years old and she must have been bona fide, because right after that, she had to stand on a stool in the kitchen every morning to make biscuits for the family. Whew - you talk about some good biscuits - my Mama could make some bread!
I have an Uncle who can make a biscuit so soft, they literally melt when you take a bite. I had him give me a lesson one Sunday. It didn't take. Then I had him come over to my house and I video-taped him making biscuits - so I could practice it later. I still couldn't get it right. Uncle John said it was all in the way you "pinched" the dough.
After using the frozen "southern-style" biscuits several times, I decided to come clean and tell my friend that I am just not up to snuff on making up bread. Before that, I said things like this to him, and got clean away with it:
"We are both gaining weight, so we are cutting back on bread."
"Bread is filler - I'd rather you enjoy the rest of your meal without filling up."
"Who needs bread when we have rice?"
"Who needs bread when we have macaroni?"
"Who needs bread when we have potatoes?"
"Who needs bread when we have peaches?"
and, once, trying hard to sound like I was joking, I said:
"My biscuits would likely hit and kill all the small animals out back, when I throw out the scraps." (That shook him up a little - he likes to watch the critters in my back yard and knows all of them, so he would know if one went missing.)
I finally just said, with my head hanging quite low, "Dear Friend, I can't make biscuits worth a toot."
He was downright sweet about it and called me Sugar- but the day I admitted I couldn't make biscuits was a sorry day for me....
I am currently blaming my bad biscuit-making on the fact that I do not have access to the flours that are in Alabama. My Mama never used anything other than Martha White Self-Rising, and my Uncle John swears by White Lily Self-Rising. You can't get that exact kind in Kansas, that I know of.
My sweet friend finally caught on to the fact that I'm missing a bread gene. He called me Sugar and told me not to worry about it - that HE is going to make some bread for us when he has time. He's a great cook too - but I am not about to let him get the best of me with a dern biscuit!
I've decided to put an end to the worry. I'm going to try biscuit recipes until I get it right. I sure do want to make good biscuits for a man who calls me Sugar.

Best Blessings and Good Biscuits!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


"Rusty Angel"



Push me,

Shove me,

Rush me,

Just be Patient,



Just like you,

I'm a Rusty Angel,

Looking for a place

Where I can shine....

Joanne Saxon Hill

February 20, 2006

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Clip and Save...

Household Tip Number 33:



Be careful out there!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Ordinary Monster...

NO - Grief is never kind.
It doesn't go away one day
and allow you to say, "That's the end of that."
It goes and returns
but mostly returns -
over and over.
It comes in unexpected ways.
Some insignificant thing can happen
and a torrent of wretchedness will rush in
and almost knock you down
and cause you to look back
to see if anyone saw you stumble.

Sometimes you get stuck in looking back...

This is no ordinary monster
that goes away at sunrise.
It does not hide in the shadows
but always stands beside you -
boldly ready to grab you and shake you
just when
you feel you are getting your life back together.
It makes you think you do not deserve to be happy
but should wear the hot wet blanket of sorrow
for the rest of your life.
You look for excuses not to be happy and realize you are trying
to please this thing that controls you - this unseen something
that doesn't even have the right name.
Grief is too brief a word
for what this demon does to you
and causes you to do.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Her Pain...

At the corner,
I was sure the tears would spill
from the pain
But they did not, immediately.
So, I could not see to
His spit.
(Just a boy...
spitting at the corner.)
I looked up
and then the tears spilled,
at his reaction...
his hands gently reaching towards me
and his eyes burning into mine
"Please...please...I am so sorry."

Something I had forgotten
and I was healed.

Joanne Saxon Hill
(from the 80s)

Friday, April 29, 2011


Twilight Down at the Pond...

...and just like that -
with hardly a notice
or a flutter,
or even a sigh...

She was gone.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Am Glad You Are Not Here Today.

I am glad you are not here today.

You would see that I have been crying.

You might want to comfort me.

You might want to ask questions.

You might want to hold me.

But I am most afraid that you would turn and walk away.

Would you walk away - because you would not know what to do for me


Would you walk away because you would not want to acknowledge my pain?

I am glad you are not here today.

To see the truth on your face would make me cry



I am glad you are not here today.

You would see that even though I have said a lot,

I have remained mostly silent in my pain.

You might want to comfort me.

You might want me to say something.

You might want me to pretend I no longer hurt.

But I am most afraid that you would turn and walk away.

Would you walk away - because you don’t how to make me feel better


Would you walk away because you are afraid of what you might hear?

I am glad you are not here today.

To see the truth on your face would make me cry



I am glad you are not here today.

You would see that I have been laughing.

You might want to rejoice with me.

You might want to ask questions.

You might want to hold me to know what happiness feels like.

But I am most afraid that you would turn and run away

Would you run away – because you are angry that I have found joy


Would you run away because you do not understand happiness?

I am glad you are not here today.

To see the truth on your face would make me cry



I am glad you are not here today.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Picnic

Hank's Little Acre

Have you ever driven out in the country on a just-right Sunday – all for the love of a picnic?

Oh - the joy of the trip to the perfect spot! The notion of finding a place that will make for a wonderful lazy afternoon. The expectation of finding the place that will linger as a sweet memory, useful for a dreary day.

Driving down a dirt road and absorbing everything - the smell of the dust that billows behind the car, the sight of dogwood and red-bud blooms and just-born leaves. The feel of the Spring breeze as you rest your arm on the let-down car window. The sound of water rushing over stones, as you slow to pass over a bridge. The creek beckons you to stop and wade. Your toes wiggle. Could you? Should you? No - the call of the picnic urges you to move along. The crunch of car tires on the rocks in the dirt road is sweet!

There is no need for the radio. The crisp of Spring sings as you ride. You turn your head this way and that...searching...waiting for just the right picnic patch to speak to you.

The little gnawing in your stomach grows as the smells come creeping from the basket on the back seat - fried chicken, potato salad, chocolate cake….And just as you slow the car and reach back to have "just one piece"...you see it. The most excellent spot. The right place. You can stop now. You can gather your food and skip merrily to the perfect plot of grass that has been reserved for your blanket, your basket, and you.

Ahhh - the anticipation of the picnic!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



Winter Leaves

As Winter leaves,
The last of Winter's leaves
In corners, crevices, and crannies,
Like old women gossiping,
They give occasional nervous flutters
As though having been suspiciously waiting for my broom.

I approach and some snap to attention.
A small cackling crackle of life.

Yes - they had been waiting.

My broom moves and so do they
Lightly awkward
Gracefully clumsy
Blithely careful.

They all run away
In rhythm to some unknown energy

Laugh Dancing across the porch.

I watch.
I consider.

What if it is not the wind?
What if it is of their own accord?

Sara Joanne Saxon Hill
March 23, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


"Tiny Dancer"

Last year, our Minister talked about how he felt when his son said to him, unexpectedly, “I appreciate you.” He became overwhelmed as he spoke about this.

I understood exactly how he felt. Those three words helped shape my life. They were spoken to me frequently by a man at the church I attended when I was young. When I think back to my childhood, Brother Jordan was the only person who ever expressed appreciation at anything I did. I think now, he did not realize the impact of what he was saying. He would come into church and shake everyone’s hand, saying, “I appreciate you”. It was kind of his way of saying “hello”.

I did not realize the impact those words had on me until I was a grown woman. I don’t remember much about being a child except always having to work and being reprimanded for not doing enough. There were never any rewards - only expectations.

I went back to that little church a couple of years after I got married and Brother Jordan was there. He had not seen me in a very long time, but when he shook my hand, he said, “I appreciate you.” I didn’t realize how much I had missed hearing it.

Today, more than any sermon I ever heard, I can still hear those words - clearly. I think they are written on my heart. They have become part of who I am. Although I didn't realize it at the time, it made me feel that I was special and that I had something important to offer.

During my career at the “corporation”, I sometimes said "I appreciate you" to co-workers. I could always see what a difference that little phrase made. I regret that I now feel I never said it enough.

Today, someone very special in my life said these words to me again. A flood of memories came over me and I silently thanked my God for always sending me a Blessing and for giving me Strength, just when I need it.

“I appreciate you” is a phrase that has the ability to transform. Try these words out as soon as you can.

Watch what happens!

Love and Blessings!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Musings on Love...

I think Love is like God. Sometimes, I just can't seem to get my arms all the way around it.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Say What?"

My Aunt gave me directions to her house one time. I wrote them down, so I wouldn't have any trouble getting there. Her instructions went like this:

"Well, after you get off the big highway, you go a piece and then you turn right. There is a big nothing on the right and you turn right there. If you go past that, you are lost."


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Dream I Have...

"Who Loves Ya, Baby?"

Sunday, January 9, 2011


If you put Sugar in your Cornbread, you cannot be from the South.
Cornmeal plus Sugar equals CAKE.
And that's all there is to it!