The Sausage Ball Manifesto

I feel as if I have far too much to say.  If I could string even 2 coherent thoughts together, I could write a book about politics, religion or 18th century English literature.  But I can’t.  So let’s talk about appetizers.

Jesus is the reason for the season.  No doubt.  He’s first place.  But sausage balls are definitely the first runner up.  They are the perfect appetizer.  Good hot or cold.  Very portable.  And they are only for Christmas.  (You might be able to get away with making a batch for New Year’s Eve but don’t post pictures of it on Instagram.) No matter where you are invited for the holidays, you cannot go wrong with sausage balls. (Unless you are visiting people who don’t eat pork.  I am a respecter of all religions and faiths but I just can’t conceive of a loving God that would keep me from sausage.  Amen.) Usually your hostess will attack you at the door, whisk the container from your hands and start shoving the delicious morsels in her mouth while she drops your coats in the master bedroom.  Once your popularity as ‘the bringer of the sausage balls’ grows, people will invite you to parties just for your delicious offering.  This is a small price to spread joy to the world each holiday season.  Trust me when I tell you this.  Never make a single batch.  I make one round to shove in the mouths of my husband and children to buy me enough time to make 2 more real quick and hide for later.

Here’s the recipe.

1lb hot Tennessee Pride Sausage (sure you can use another brand but why?) (no, you can’t use mild or sage.  Don’t ask why.  You just can’t.)

2 cups of sharp shredded cheese (grate it yourself, trust me)

2 cups of Bisquick.

Mix it together.  This part is kind of a pain to be honest. But it can’t be helped.  Don’t even think about using your Kitchen-aid mixer here. Some things in life are worth fighting for.  Sausage balls are one of them.  Once it’s all mixed together, form it into balls, throw it into a 375 degree oven and watch the magic happen.  Cook them for about 20 minutes.  You want them to be golden but not real brown.

The key to this delectable concoction is it’s simplicity.  Don’t be led astray by internet idiots (other than me)  who will try to convince you that this recipe is somehow lacking.  People do this nonsense all the time.  I blame the Allrecipe website and the pervasive rampant narcissism in today’s culture.  Every dang body thinks they can ‘improve’ on stuff if they give it their own special twist.  To this I say “NO SIR!” This recipe doesn’t need a special cheese (not cream cheese, not cheez-whiz, not organic white cheddar made by Welsh coal miners), it doesn’t need grass fed chorizo and it does not need herbs and spices.  I was raised to be a lady but if I attend a party and you bring sausage balls containing thyme, oregano or rosemary, I will fight you.  I’m sorry but you’ve got to stand for something in this crazy world and no spices in sausage balls is the mountain I’ve chosen to die upon.  Also, don’t try to make this deal harder than it has to be.  I once heard a woman suggest that we make our own Bisquick.  What blithering idgit would even come up with such an idea?  What does your daily life look like that it includes enough free time to make your own Bisquick?  This gal’s toilets better be sparkling and all her closets completely organized alphabetically is all I can say.  I will mark ‘learn to tap dance’ and ‘re shingle my roof ‘ off my bucket list before making my own Bisquick.

They even make a pre-made sausage balls now.  You can find them in your freezer section.  And by all means, get you some.  Assuming you hate your family and the entire reason for the holidays of course.  Before you even ask, let me admit that no, I have not tried them.  Look, I’ve never tried ritualistic Satan worship either but I’m pretty sure it ain’t my cup of tea.  But the bigger question you need to ask yourself here is “Am I really too busy to mix three ingredients in a bowl?”  Because if the answer is yes?  Well, I’m not trying to tell you how to live but I think you might be too dang busy.

Friends, we live in a hard and scary world.  Sausage balls will not fix that.  But it might make you feel better for a few minutes and what more can we hope for in 2016?

The 1st Day of my 43rd Year

The 1st Day of my 43rd Year

So after no blogging for far too long it felt a bit too narcissistic to post on my actual birthday.  So I waited until the day after.

I can’t say I’m sorry to wave bye bye to my 42nd year.  It was less than awesome.  In the past 365 days, I have injured both knees (not at the same time cuz that would have been far too convenient!).  The first caused lots of pain but healed nicely with physical therapy.  The second one was way more annoying.  Surgical repair.  6 weeks on crutches (which, of course I didn’t do) and now I’m facing 8 to 12 weeks of physical therapy.  Let me make sure you understand me.  In the big scheme of things this is no big deal.  I have friends who have battled cancer, kidney disease and a host of terrible health issues.  I know that a  chubby girl who can’t stop falling and screwing up her knees is not the stuff of sympathy worthy posts. But to fully understand the roller coaster of depression, shame, anger and fury I have been on for the past year, well…the injuries are kind of important.  Having been lucky enough to live most of my life pain free, I can tell you this.  I’m just not tough enough to have chronic health problems.  My hat’s off to those of you who battle this every day.  I now have a new appreciation for people addicted to pain meds.  I totally get it now.  Because, if we’re being honest, we’re all addicted to not being in pain.  But most of us don’t have to prove it every day.  And pain is just so exhausting.  No one seems to talk about this.  I used to think a lot about a lot of things.  Poetry, music, art, politics.  As an introvert, my life is lived mainly in my head and there’s just a lot going on up there.  I am a ridiculously interesting person in my mind.  I rarely get bored.  But this year most of those interesting thoughts were replaced with one thought…”Ouch”. When it hurts to walk, sleep, sit or stand, you just tend to focus on that.  And it wasn’t far into this adventure that I realized no one wants to hear that your knee hurts 20 times a day.  I totally get this but can I tell you that a person in pain wants to mention this 3000 times a day so if you know someone like this, try to cut em a break.


So, what else happened this year?

I discovered I can’t eat dairy.  This is literally worse than the knee problems.  More on the Whole 30 and how it changed my life but I still hate it in a later post.

Emily got a place of her own.  She’s happy as a clam and living quite independently.  So yay!  But I miss Kayden so much.  So Boo!

I got to visit Ireland and France as a tag-a-long on one of Kevin’s business trips.  Once in a lifetime experience.  Still seems like I dreamed it.

Savannah graduated high school.  Got her first real job over the summer and then started college this fall.  I saved my mental breakdown until she moved into the dorms.  She comes home every weekend but I still feel like the world is off kilter without her living at home.

My website is chugging along.  We were featured in an article in the National media.  We continue to publish a weekly article in an actual newspaper that no one probably reads.  We aren’t generating an income yet but Lauren and I are putting our profits into a retirement account which is ironic as mompreneurs never actually get to stop working.

We’ve attended two churches in the past 2 years and both of the pastors have quit for different reasons.  I don’t blame myself obviously but I’m positive God is trying to teach me something.

The kids are all ok.  Not without struggles and challenges of course (are we ever?)  But we’ve had worse years for sure.

I am still married.  (I never take this for granted.)

God loves me as much today as he did 366 days ago.  ( I never take this for granted either.)


So here we go 43.

Still Just Rachel

Ya’ll…I am all fancy and stuff now!

I moved the blog for one simple reason.  Nashville Fun For Families (my day job) is on Word Press and I need a place to experiment.  I imagine it will take me a few months to get all those old posts put into categories.  So if you are desperately searching for something I said about oatmeal 3 years ago…be patient.

If you subscribed to the old blog (and God love ya if you did) could you take 30 seconds and sign up again at this one?  There is some way that old subscribers can be moved but it’s a bit complicated and I have laundry to do.



It finally happened.

8 years and 11 months later, my ex husband apologized to me.

Honestly, I never thought I would hear those words.  A few years ago, someone asked him if he was ever gonna tell me he was sorry and his response was something like “I haven’t done anything to be sorry about.”

And I wasn’t exactly waiting on an apology.  When friends and family would lament his lack of contrition, I always thought to myself. “What good could words possibly do?”  How could a collection of letters knit themself together and heal the wounds he had caused?  I found the whole idea simply ludicrous.  All that pain.  All that rejection.  So much worry.  So much sorrow.  Words could not even begin to heal me.

But as he said those words, I realized something.  “I’m sorry” can’t eradicate pain.  It can’t change history.  It cannot right wrongs.  But those words can validate a painful experience.  God had healed me a long time ago.  He used Kevin to show me that love was real and still more powerful than any other force in the universe.  And for that I am thankful.

But hearing an apology was like taking a band-aid off a horrible wound and finding only an impressive scar.


This blog is on vacation for a few days because…

I guess there are a few reasons.

1.  I have been working on another website.  My friend Lauren came up with this great idea and I am helping her create something.  It has grown, evolved and just generally morphed into something kinda awesome.  I am woefully behind because Fall Break means not a whole lot gets accomplished at Kline Manor.

Here’s the website though.

“Like” us on Facebook. And “Follow” us on Twitter And “Follow” our boards on Pinterest

Ok, end of shameless self-promotion.

2.  It is the middle of marching band competition season.  This week is Contest of Champions.  The week after is USSBA state finals.  I am consumed with the Band of Gold.  And, seriously, is that not the story of my life?   Speaking of being consumed with band….I talked to a lady my age yesterday who performs in the Cedar Creek Community Band.  And, ya’ll, something fluttered inside me when she started talking about it.  I have a perfectly good clarinet just sitting in my dining room.  Would it be nuts if I tried to play again?

(And, yes, I get that it is nuts to contemplate yet another life commitment within a post complaining about having too many life commitments.  Welcome to my world!)

Back next week.  It may not be worth waiting for…but I will be back 🙂