The Scourge of A Messy Kitchen

Over the last week and through the weekend, we’d been fairly busy here at our home. With four of us (plus a dog) living here, things can go from general clutter to chaotic pretty quickly … way faster than I remember from the time I had four small children running around the house!messy

By Monday morning when my Beloved, our grandson and my brother-in-law had all disappeared out the door headed for their jobs, I looked around at my kitchen and groaned. Dirty dishes were piled high in the double sink. Other dirty dishes were spread across the countertops. More dirty dishes and cooking pans littered the range-top. Only the kitchen table was clear of dirty dishes – most likely because the collection of newspapers and various reading materials monopolized that space. Continue reading “The Scourge of A Messy Kitchen”

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Advent of the Shower Nazis?

The capital of Arkansas is the city of Little Rock, strategically located in our state. It is the most populous city in the state and acquired its name (from the French “le Petit Rocher“) when an early-seventeenth century explorer made landing during his river explorations near a small rock formation along the Arkansas River.

FROM:  http://tiny.cc/jgvrvx The Old State House
FROM: http://tiny.cc/jgvrvx
The Old State House

Arkansas state government is located in Little Rock as well as numerous historical sites and attractions including the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center (home to President Clinton’s records and memorabilia). It’s a beautiful city with a colorful history and a vibrant southern community where hospitality is exceptional and no one’s a stranger. Continue reading “Advent of the Shower Nazis?”

Chowder Comfort In a Chicken Soup World

What is it about soup? The outdoor temperature plunges, winds blow briskly and snowflakes accumulate … and suddenly, the palate demands comfort food, a hearty bowl of soup with an aromatic bread on the side. Whether it’s chili, chicken noodle soup or a chowder, a steaming bowl lightly satisfies taste buds with each spoonful delivering goodness from the tongue all the way down to our toes!baked-potato-soup-ee2603bad9b63919Being snowed in today, my lunch clean-up moved almost seamlessly into dinner preparations … a large pot of chicken corn chowder (with potatoes, plus a cup of bacon bits). My adventurous grandson suggested I could go heavier on the comfort food by adding both beef and pork, but as my limit is two meats in one dish, his wish wasn’t granted. Even comfort has its limits! Continue reading “Chowder Comfort In a Chicken Soup World”

How To Say “I Love You”

In case you haven’t noticed the calendar, Valentine’s Day is coming right up! Yep, that day when we celebrate LOVE! Have you looked at the price of flowers lately? A heart-shaped box of quality chocolates? Saying “I Love You” never comes cheap. Be ready to fork over the big bucks!

Ha! I saw one FaceBook post of a rose-red Range Rover beneath which someone had noted, “Wouldn’t this look good in my driveway on Valentine’s Day?” The FB post says Range Rover is giving two of these away just prior to the big day … but apparently, it’s a giant hoax. (The car does look nice though.)RangeRoverMy Beloved and I have never been ardent gift-givers. Early in our marriage, we scrimped to save for the important things and Valentine’s Day was an opportunity for creativity. Some of my best cards from my long-time Beau were simple handmade cards on which he expressed his love for me. My handmade expressions were usually more grandiose productions than his but I won’t suggest they outshone his. Continue reading “How To Say “I Love You””

The Pay-Dirt of Good Intentions

An article on the HuffPost blog earlier this week caught my eye. Entitled 11 Things Empty Nesters Want Parents of Little Kids To Know, the author provides a list of observations … all but the first tip coming from the author’s friends who are already empty nesters. Apparently feeling the inevitable empty nest just around the corner, the author offers her own tip to start the list.Empty-NestIn her opening paragraphs, the author notes with obvious frustration that she’s capable of remembering things, but some memories related to her children are harder to recall. Details of her children’s “firsts” are regrettably fuzzy memories, but the theme song from Gilligan’s Island is annoyingly memorable. (Perhaps she has forgotten the theme song probably played numerous times … searing the music into her brain, while her child’s first step only happened once.)

Continue reading “The Pay-Dirt of Good Intentions”

Salutations Small and Great

Whenever our grandson comes over to the house to play, we trade greetings similar to what many people do. Usually, I greet him with an eager smile, howdy and “How are you?” He smiles back, a broad smile. Then in his most sincere voice, he responds with, “Great!” (Not just good, but great … and not a bored “great,” but a lingering, meaningful “great.“)

20140308_162814Today, many greetings tend to have a throwaway aspect to them. I’m not saying we’re not genuinely interested in how someone is doing; it’s just we have these greeting phrases that get thrown out and are responded to in casual, almost absentminded, fashion … we do this so we can move on to the meat-and-potatoes portion of our conversation. Continue reading “Salutations Small and Great”

Onward To 2015

Okay, we’re coming up on the hour when you’ll want to grab that bottle of bubbly and pop the cork to welcome in another New Year … or is it the time to give the old year a boot in the rear as it slinks out the proverbial door? Or, maybe it’s both?

happy_new_year_2015_desktop_wallpaperWhatever your understanding is, tonight’s definitely the night and I know there are plenty of people hoping 2015 will be a better year for them than 2014 was. (As my guys sit and watch their football games, I’m hearing this bowl season has turned into a disappointment for SEC hopes. I’m philosophical about it … there’s always next year.) Continue reading “Onward To 2015”

The Golden Brigade

Earlier this week, I posted my comments related to enduring marriage. Given that my Beloved and I will celebrate our 45th year of marriage tomorrow, I’ve been contemplating my current perceptions of marriage and comparing those views with what I recall from my much younger self.golden-anniversary-script-reply-cards-finished-back-motif-celebrating

As if bidden to the surface by my subconscious, three unique recent posts on marriage came to my attention. The first (written by The Boston Globe‘s Billy Baker) features a brief sketch about 75 couples, all of whom have been married more than 50 years, who were invited to a gathering where their unions would be celebrated.

Sponsored by an organization with the official-sounding name, Boston Commission on Affairs of the Elderly, this gathering brought the couples together in one room with the stated purpose of answering a simple question:  What’s the secret to a long marriage? This wondrously exclusive group offered their views, providing opinions that were at times similar and occasionally unique. Continue reading “The Golden Brigade”

L’Enfant Repose

As someone who loves music, I always welcome the songs of the season … but by the time Christmas Day arrives, I’ve usually reached my level of tolerance. Radio stations go 24/7 with various renditions of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Jingle Bells. Last weekend when I was out on errands, I tuned in one station and heard one of my least favorite songs coming on so I switched the channel to another station. The second choice had the same song playing by a different artist. Arghhh!

http://tiny.cc/jtxkqx
http://tiny.cc/jtxkqx

I do have some favorites I think I could listen to everyday of the year. (Of course, if I did that, I might grow tired of them too. What a fickle person I am!) Continue reading “L’Enfant Repose”

Joy In The Journey

With the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, many people turn their attention to Christmas shopping and the numerous tasks at hand which can no longer be postponed. For me, my attentions don’t immediately gravitate to shopping and presents (though that will come). At this time of year (more than at any other time of year) my thoughts turn to family.

It’s difficult for me to imagine the challenge of doing Christmas when there are empty chairs at the table. That’s when I remind myself military families experience this challenge all the time. One of my favorite songs of the season is linked in the YouTube above. One thing that sets this song apart from standard Christmas music is the touching way in which greetings of military families are interspersed with the song itself.

Family (at least for me) is woven into the fabric of the holidays. When the first Christmas song gets played (usually by me), my thoughts turn to my mother and siblings, my mother-in-law, her son (my Beloved) and all the sibling in-laws, each of my precious children (all now grown) as well as my wealth of adorable grandchildren. Of course, each connection becomes more dear with each passing year. Continue reading “Joy In The Journey”