Sunday, November 30, 2008

Balloon


The Brantley girls had really big dreams of becoming the very first Women
to own their own airlines. he he he
Encouraging thought.
Don't let anyone tell you what you can not do.
Kick negativity to the curb and believe that what you say today will come to pass.
Be careful what comes out of your mouth because life and death are in the power of the tongue!
We have what we say! The greatest fear is that we are more powerful then we really know!
Whatever your thang is... Just do it!
Grits and shrimp Ya'll!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2Geechee Girls Holiday Knock-Out-Chefs


Our annual Turkey Day with friends and family is a long standing tradition and as usual it’s going to be a blast! We’ve got some of the best Heavy Weight and Middle Weight Knock-Out-Chefs in our circle of life and we’re sure you do too. As for me, truth be told, I’m no Knock-Out-Chef, but I’m no slouch either. My strengths lie in hosting and providing the basics, such as, d├ęcor, drinks, desserts and cranberry sauce in a can. Hey, no laughing. At times I’ve been Pooh-poohed for my love of canned cranberry sauce, but it is a family tradition and I love it! CRANBERRY SAUCE TIP: If you do it just right opening one end fully and then slightly opening the other, bingo it just slides right out of the can onto the dish.

Now here comes the list of the Champion Knock-Out-Chefs in our circle:
In the Heavy Weight category and weighing in with 3 side/main dishes is VANESSA BRANTLEY NEWTON. V’s specialty is anything she sets her hand to make, but the most requested items for family gatherings are: “Candied Yams”, “String Beans with Bacon”, or her special pot of goodness, “Red Rice” and our Momma’s “Pineapple Upside Down Cake” that V has just taken to another level!

In the other corner and also in the Heavy Weight category is “ANGEL LITE GARRETT” she weighs in with a main dish and some slamm’n sides: "The Turkey", "Deviled Eggs" a/k/a (Heavenly Eggs for the faint of heart), "Oxtails and Gravy", "Collard Greens" (with neckbones on a good day) and "Cornbread" with the “Shirley Smith” secret ingredient, if I tell you I’ll have to kill ya, so don’t ask.

Next in the ring is my boo, WILL CURRY a Middle Weight Knock-Out-Chef bringing a main and a side: His delicious "Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing", that (sometimes costly but oh so delicious) Costco, Kirkland "Spiral cut Ham", and "Pillsbury Crescent Rolls", a dinner staple and must have.

On the other side of the ring is KATYA SCOTT, another Middle Weight Knock-Out-Chef bringing to the table desserts like nobody’s business. She introduced us to two things that she cannot cross the threshold without, that oh-so-delicious "Fruit Tart" and her delicious, somebody stop me before I eat it all "Fabulous Fudge". Next are some honorable mentions that have graced our table at one time or another.

Big Ups to:

MOMMA EARLENE BRANTELY, HEAVY WEIGHT - "Homemade Biscuits, Fried Fish and Fried Chicken"

AUNT PEARLIE MAE BRANTLEY, HEAVY WEIGHT - "Signature Cake with Fondant Frosting"

COUSIN GERTIE MAE CONNELL, HEAVY WEIGHT - "Pork Loin Roast" and "Spaghetti and Meat Sauce"

BRENDA SMITH, HEAVY WEIGHT - "Chocolate Mousse Cake" and Annual New Year's "Hog-Head-Cheese."

DAVID MURDAUGH, HEAVY WEIGHT - "Fried Turkey" So wish we could be there with you in Charlotte! Eat some for us.

PAMELA “PAM PAM” KEE, MIDDLE WEIGHT - “Macaroni and Cheese” with all its bubbling, oozing, just right crust on the side goodness!

PAMELA KEE’S MOM, A RECORD HOLDING HEAVY WEIGHT - “Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing!”

GLORIA SLAUGHTER, HEAVY WEIGHT - "Caesar Salad with homemade dressing", "Chicken Parmeasan" and "Signature Lemonade" She's another one who does the whole meal!

LA-SHAWN DOROTHY NIEVES, MIDDLE WEIGHT - “Pork Roast”, The stay up all night and cook it in the oven on low heat kind!

WENDY MICHEL JEAN, MIDDLE WEIGHT - “Mushroom Rice”, Haitian Cuisine with the Wendy twist and just right spices. Rumor has it the mushrooms can't be found anywhere to make it for Thanksgiving. For shame.

MY SISTER-IN-LAW, ELLA HILL, HEAVY WEIGHT - She brings it old-school style, cooking the entire meal! You name it, it’s on the table, like her “Potato Salad and Ham with the bone in it”

VASHTI JOHNSON, HEAVY WEIGHT - “Special Sauce Wings” or whatever she chooses to cook, hmm, hmm good.

Our Spiritual MOM, TOMMY LARUE MILLER, HEAVY WEIGHT - and old school chef who does it all as well. Looking forward to her signature “Cauliflower with Cheesy Cream Sauce” and “Pork with Sauerkraut.”

MARIA BOLYARD, HEAVY WEIGHT - another one who still cooks the entire meal all by herself! We’ll take anything from her table, but we could go for some “Stuffed Mushrooms” and any piece of meat she wishes to cook “preferably Pork.” Oh great Portuguese Chef we love you!

LARRY BOLYARD of Bolyard's Best, MIDDLE WEIGHT - "Pecan, Chocolate Surprise Pie!" There is so much goodness in there. I can't even name all the ingredients. BTW, where's my pie Larry?

YOLANDA COX, HEAVY WEIGHT - With that Barbados brand of seasoning on everything making it hot and spicy! Big Ups for her "Signature Salad" and "Special Curry Chicken Salad with Raisins!"

ANABELA PINTO, HEAVY WEIGHT - Another Portuguese Chef. All hail the "Cup Cake Queen!"

THERESA A Nieves Hook-up, HEAVY WEIGHT - just two words “Potato Salad.” Need I say more?

RHODE ISLAND KATHY, HEAVY WEIGHT - bringing to the table, whatever the heck she wants! Kathy where are you? We want to put our order in!

LEONARD AND MARIBEL, MIDDLE WEIGHTS, “Potato Salad”, Leonard’s signature family recipe.

Now we know you’ve got some Knock-Out-Chefs, No. 1 Hosts, or Family and Friends that are just the best. Whatever it is they do that makes The holidays a little more special and memorial,like laughter, games, stories, drama, conversation, hugs and love! give them a shout out about it right here at 2Geechee Girls. Let us know their name and that dish or thing they do that makes you go hmm, hmm good.

Happy Thanksgiving!
V and Me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meet Our Inspiration - The Original Geechee Girl


We greet you in the traditions of our ancestors the Geechee/Gullah people and also in memory of our Mom, Shirley Ann Grant Brantley or “Shirl.” Born in South Carolina, April 9, 1941. She was and is our constant inspiration a true Geechee. So what's a Geechee? We are direct descendants of the Gullah/Geechee people in Beaufort, South Carolina. The slaves brought to that region were West Africans and known for their agricultural expertise in the growing of rice and basket weaving! What makes the West African connection to the Gullah/Geechee people so special, is during the season when the mosquitoes would be so dangerous to the plantation owners, they would abandon their homes leaving the slaves alone to care for the fields of rice. Without supervision these slaves were able to maintain many of their traditions and ways of life and most importantly their dignity and self respect. Our mom was Geechee and proud of it and just like her descendants, she spoke with a distinct dialect and carried herself in a certain way. She was very spiritual, with a quiet pride. She was a rice eater with every meal no matter how many starches were on the table, clean to fault, intelligent and full of life lessons. Many of the things we celebrate and look to share with you were demonstrated in our daily lives by our mom. It was nothing for her to pick up a stray be it human or animal bring them home, clean them up, feed them, encourage them and send them on their way or keep them. She constantly brought diversity into our lives, ultimately teaching us how to make strangers family and a house a home. Long before the media made shows out of home gardening, cooking, arts & crafts, homeopathic treatments and makeovers our mom was already doing it. She was an original Martha Stewart. In an urban city she and my dad already grew vegetables in an asphalt garden. She was an extraordinary cook just ask anybody from South Carolina to New Jersey. She was known for her signature pineapple upside cake, scrubbings and chicken soup. As a trained midwife she could birth babies, make house shoes and bed pans out of paper and seemingly prepare a tasty meal from nothing and feed a family. One of her favorite things to do was make you over from head to toe, starting with your emotions and your insides, then she would bring you into her closet and dress you in additional hair if necessary down to her “pointed-toe, roach-killer” shoes, if you were a size 8 ½ of course. She would cruise her favorite neighborhoods and thrift shops where they knew her by name. She could take an old chair, bed, or sofa, haul it home in her van and make into something beautiful. Long before designers suggested you use sheets for curtains, yep Shirley did that in our room. She knew the art of pampering the mind, body and spirit, with things that fostered creativity. Therefore, her bath time was sacred and her skin was flawless. She had a contralto voice to die for that could soothe any savage beast. In the spring of 2000 our mom, the Rev. Shirley Brantley, wife and friend went home to be with her heavenly father after a fierce fight with colon cancer. We miss her dearly, but she packed us full of all her goodness before she left. Her daily demonstration of life and can do spirit leave us with timeless memories and treasures we want to share with you. With love from the Brantley girls, those singing sisters, the 2Geechee Girls. “Doing what we do and sharing it with you” Who inspires you? Give them a shout out in response to today’s entry.
V & Coy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome to 2Geechee Girls! - About Us


Hey ya’ll, it’s day two and once again welcome to 2Geechee girls! We are two sisters born and raised in Northern, NJ the “Garden State”, which we truly love. What's so good about Jersey, you say? Well we’ll tell you.

(1)We have all four seasons,(2)24 hour diners, just about anywhere you can think of, (3)Delicious Jersey tomatoes, (4) Some of the best local, national and international cuisine, (5) We got your pick of where to live, city, suburb, country or even down-the-shore, (6) We are responsible for some of the best fine & performing artist in the business, Count Bassie, Jon Bon Jovi, Carole King, Frank Sinatra, Queen Latifah, Bruce Springsteen, Wyclef Jean and Whitney Houston, to name a few, and(7) depending on where you live, we are just 30 minutes from the Big Apple.

That’s what so good about Jersey. Heck No wonder our taxes are high!

However, let's get back to our introduction. Vanessa or "V" as she is affectionately known is the eldest and I, Coy am the baby that acts older. You know how that goes, right? We are just 15 months apart and up until the ages of 4 and 5 I'm pretty sure everyone thought we were twins, because we were dressed alike quite often by our mom. V is a true Baby Boomer (born 1963) and I am an on the cusp Generation X'er (born 1965.) I get to enjoy the best of both generations, ha!

V and I are sistahs through and through. She is the up to my down, the in to my out and the flip to my flop. We have incredible husbands and fantastic little people we call our seeds. We are about being our best, celebrating our likes and our differences, which ultimately make us who we are. It's been a long time coming but we really love how the cakes of our lives have turned out. They may be a little uneven on one side, and burnt around the edges, but once you cover it with “icing” which is “the love of life”, it's all good!

We have learned some life lessons, gained some nuggets of truth, and found some life principles and laws to live by that have made us better at being who we are and it is our pleasure to share them with you. We think blogging is a great way to express yourself and hopefully our expression will entertain, encourage, enlighten, and most of all empower you to become the best you, you can be!

Well, I'm sure that is enough for now. BTW, did I tell you I'm wordy as heck, hmmm, my bad. No worries though. Entries won't always be this length. We look forward to doing some cool and interesting things with this blog. In a way we hope compels you to respond and share.

So say something back, visit daily and "Get Your Geech On" with V and me!

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW'S ENTRY: “Meet Our Inspiration”…Our mom the original Geechee Girl and unsung Martha Stewart…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Memory of our Sister and Friend Tahalia Richardson


Welcome to the blog of 2geechee girls.
Where girls come to chat, laugh, shed wisdom and delight. We are launching our first blog entry in memory or our dear sister-friend, Tahali Richardson.




Today is a bittersweet day for us as our sister and friend Tahalia "Hali" Richardson died last night in California. She was only in her 30s.

We say bittersweet because Halia had been sick and just recently had a heart attack that required follow up surgery. She also had lupus and seemed to often be in a fight for her life. Well the fight is over now and she is not in pain anymore. She is in her awesome new body without flaws and sickness. She wouldn't come back here if we wanted her too. For we have hope and this hope is assured to us that if we live right we will see her again. We are still very shocked by it all. In late July, we all spent the day together in Jersey. She had just cut off her beautiful locs of which she had a head full of them. She had also dropped more weight, but in a good way. She was looking fine! We sat together, laughed, watched Meet the Browns, screamed and loved all over each other. Several months before we'd just buried Leah her older sister and now we are memorializing her today. She leaves to mourn, Mama Richardson, her 7 year old son and miracle baby Hebrew and one of her dearest friends Jackki Taylor. She also leaves behind a host of sister-friends who love her and miss her already.

We will never forget her high squeaky voice that made us grin. Her comedic timing that had us rolling and doubled over with tears to boot, her fabulous, fabulous cooking and most of all her spirit and song. Tahalia was a fabulous singer and worship leader.

If you knew her give a shout-out and if you did not thanks for celebrating her life with us today. Mad crazy props to a geecheegirl at heart. Rest in peace Hali. We will miss her dearly.

The illustration of Tahali is by Nessa. Who's Nessa, click the link to www.oohlaladesignstudio.blogspot.com and find out. It is a treat your eyes will thank you for always. Until Next time, take the poll test "You might be geechee if." Results coming soon!

Nessa & Verne...Who's Verne, tune in tomorrow.