Friday, October 31, 2008

ABC's of Homemaking

I've seen this on several blogs I read and thought I'd join in.

Please feel free to copy and play along on your blog. Just take out my answers and put in your own.

A ~Aprons--y/n If y, what does your favorite look like? Yes and my favorite is my brown one with some candies screen printed that says "Nobody knows the truffles I've seen."

B ~ Baking--Favorite thing to bake? Bread and cookies. I've found a good simple oatmeal cookie recipe that the folks at Tony's work love. Now every Wed. I have cookies to send in for his team meeting. Also, I'm making Grandmother's Bread. (Thanks Suzanne)

C ~ Clothes line? No, I'm a dryer person.

D ~ Donuts--Have you ever made them? No, never made them. I get my donut fix at the Shell station which sells Krispy Kreme.

E ~ Everyday--One homemaking thing you do everyday? Clean the kitchen. I'm a messy cook.

F ~ Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze? Yes, it's not huge, but the right size for the two of us. I fill it with soups and stews and chili, mainly.

G ~ Garbage Disposer? Yes, and I use it, but I also am trying to start a compost pile out back.

H ~ Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource? The Joy of Cooking. It's the one I go to for basics and other helps.

I ~ Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results? HATE to iron. I'd rather clean 10 gas station restrooms. I'm not crazy over the results either. I'm not good. Tony is much better and would rather iron his stuff himself. Works for me!!

J ~ Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it? Yes. Kitchen, study, living room, uh, too many

K ~ Kitchen--color and decorating scheme. White

L ~ Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking? Having a baking day or a soup making day. I like seeing and enjoying the finished product, but I also like the processes.

M ~ Mop--y/n? Yes, after trying the swiffer thing, I'm back to a regular mop and bucket. Works much better. I hate the smell of the swiffer cleaner. The kitchen always smelled like old, dead cigarettes to me after I used it. Yuck

N ~ Nylons, machine or hand wash? Machine wash when there are any to wash.

O ~ Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check? Both. It depends on what I'm cooking. I don't like to lose the heat by opening the door, but sometime you gotta.

P ~ Pizza--What do you put on yours? First, it's my homemade so I control the quantity of ingredients. Lots of pepperonis, mozz cheese, fresh mushrooms. I'm a traditionalist.

Q ~ Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Knit

R ~ Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like? No box. I have a notebook of favorites, plus a bookcase of books

S ~ Style of house--What style is your house? 1950's ranch

T ~Tablecloths or Place mats? Both. It's usually placemats for daily and tablecloths for company or when the table isn't in use.

U ~ Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland? Organized and not too toxic

V ~ Vacuum--How many times per week? Minimum of once a week. I've been doing more lately because of all the little bits of dried leaves coming in.

W ~ Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week? Gee, I've never counted. I wash when I need to.

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? I try to, but I'm not always successful

Y ~ Yard--y/n? Who does what? Yes, with lots of trees. I do the yard work and the gardening. I love to mow!

ZZZ's ~ what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Make the coffee so it will be waiting on me the next morning

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


The 37th National Storytelling Festival has ended. Tents are coming down. Chairs are being stacked. Port-a-potties are heading back to wherever they come from. Restaurants are going over what inventory is left. The golfers at the Ridges have their carts back. ISC is $1 million closer to the $3M goal for the Horizon project. Actually there's a little over $250K to be raised.

And yet stories are still bouncing around the town.

The weekend started with a trip to the airport to pick up Karen Chace, Teresa Clark and Meg Gilman. We dropped Teresa off at Joseph Sobel's and headed to the house for a quick supper, then on to the Library tent for the NSN Storynight. They had a great lineup of Diane Ferlatte, Barbara Freeman, Bobby Norfolk, David Novak, Gayle Ross, Faye Wooden, and Rixon Lane. The pros were good, but I thought Rixon (youth from my native SC) and Faye (local) were the best.

I had traffic duty for four hours on Friday morning, so after getting Karen and Meg downtown, I picked up my ticket at the Christopher Taylor cabin and went to work. That afternoon I wandered from tent to tent. In the evening I heard John McCutcheon, Ben Haggarty, Beth Horner, Antonio Rocha, Kevin Kling, Won-ldy Paye, Erica Lann-Clark, Tim Tingle and Katheryn Windham. IMHO, all but one were good to great. It was my first time hearing Haggarty and he's now a favorite.

We had other guests who arrived Friday afternoon. Faye and her daughter Robbie were first-timer festival attendees. Faye won the tickets Jimmy Neal contributed for the Kiwanis Convention in August. They were great to have with us and enjoyed the festival.

The Midnight Cabaret featured Andy Offutt Irwin whom I love. I got my festival ticket by ushering at Andy's Teller in Residence program in July. I was a little disappointed because he really built up his new material in summer about Aunt Marguerite Van Camp and there wasn't much of it. But I still enjoyed him.

Sat. morning my traffic duty was early (7-11). It was fun, watching folks come in to town, saying good morning to them, answering their questions (where can I get coffee?, where can I park? and where's the College St. tent? in that order.) One guy said it was nice to have a sunflower greeting them and that made my day. Me...a sunflower. How 'bout that!

I grabbed some lunch and then it was on to Onawumi Jean Moss and then Kevin Kling. I was done for after that and headed home.

Sunday morning was the Featured Listeners breakfast. The room was full and the stories abound. David and Jeff (owners of the former Dogwood Lane) and others put on quite a spread. Mike and Susan welcomed us to the Parson's Table.The group lost two members this past year. Emotions were right at the surface. It was good to hear George stories.

The afternoon was more stories. I heard Bil Lepp who told one old and one new story. The old might have been new to the festival. Michael Reno Harrell was next. He's new the the festival crowd, but has been to Jonesborough many times. Tony and I had supper with him and Joan one evening when he was playing Jonesborough Days. His song Southern Accent kept me sane the 15 months we spent in Assachusetts. (My spelling of the state.) After his set, I headed home.

The fun continued that evening at Alta Cucina in Johnson City. It's a tradition to end the weekend at dinner somewhere with any Featured Listeners who are still in town, plus us Jonesborough folks. Meg came along with me. We filled the patio there. Tony and Karen were supposed to go to Joseph's after festival party, but I forgot and took the van. He doesn't have keys for my car. So after we ate, we came home and picked up Karen and went to Joseph's to end the evening with some good music.

Monday morning was a trip back to the airport for Karen and Meg to catch their flight. Then it was home to an empty, very quiet house. How many more days until the festival???

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lots of hats

Last Christmas our Kiwanis Club adopted the Head Start kids in Jonesborough. We had a great time buying gifts and they came to one of our meetings and sang carols to us.

I had knitted a few hats on my loom knitter and included some of them to be distributed. This year, I wanted to make sure I had enough made, so on August 28 I made an appointment in my Outlook that said "Make Hat." I have it recurring every three days until Dec 1. If I follow the schedule I will have 30 hats made.

Unfortunately (fortunately??, I don't know which), the schedule got messed up. Tony ended up in the hospital the day after Labor Day with 2 90+% blockages. He was in for 3 days and I ended up with about 5 nervously made hats. He's doing well now and started cardic rehab today. I'm now the "Food Nazi" watching everything he eats.

So today (9.22) I should have 9 completed hats. Instead, I finished number 14 yesterday and started #15. I figure I'll have about 40 done by 12.1.
I'm going to make an appeal on FreeCycle to take anyone's little bits and pieces of Homespun yarn. I like taking the different colors and making a hat with them. And hopefully we'll have a little cold weather and some kids will have warm ears. Either way, I'm having fun.

Here's what I have done so far.
All of them.

Close-up 1

Close-up 2

Close-up 3

Close-up 4

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's been a while...

since my last post. So what has happened? The Appalachian Fair came and went and our Kiwanis booth did real well. We sold hotdogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes, fries, and nachos and cheese. The booth was jumping every night. Here's some pictures.

We also had race guests. The two Bristol race weekends are a boon for hotels, B&Bs and private homes. We rented our guest room to a lovely young couple from NJ. He's a race fan. She just came to the US about a year ago from Bejing. It was her first race weekend and she seemed to like it. They might be regulars for the March and August races.

It's been so dry here that the leaves are turning early and falling. There are a lot of trees here and I think I'll be raking until December. LOL

We have the month of September coming up, bur I'm thinking about October already. I have a love/hate relationship with the month. I love that the National Storytelling Festival will be here before you know it. With it comes lots of my storytelling friends. We have three staying with us along with a mom and daughter who won the ISC gift basket, including festival tickets at our KY/TN Kiwanis convention earlier this month.

That's all why I love the month. I hate the month because all the wonderful fall colors will be overshadowed in the stores by the color pink. Now don't get me wrong. As a breast cancer survivor, I support Komen and ACS in the fight. But I have a very hard time with pink M&M's, pink KitchenAid Mixers, pink boxing gloves, SpongeBob SquarePants wearing Pink Pants and more. Each year more and more companies are jumping on the BC bandwagon and getting rich with no accountability.

I especially have a hard time with Pinkwashers. They support the fight against cancer and they get rich making products that are linked to the very disease.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox...for now. I think I have a lot more to say on this subject and will be posting again before the pinking of Fall begins.

So what are you looking forward to this fall?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our new home

I promised some pictures and here they are....

More to come

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm still here

The move almost did me in, but we are settled and loving the new place. There's so much light! Having lived in a cave for about ten years (not really, but log houses have some light problems), I can't get used to not having to turn on every lamp we have in order to see.

I'll post pictures later, but just want to let anyone who reads this (is there anyone??) know I'm still here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What I've been doing

The pictures tell the story...

We can barely walk through the living room to the kitchen.

Getting to the laundry room is a little better.

Luckily we don't sleep upstairs anymore.

Because this is the bed in the bottom right.

Nothing much left to read

Sissy has been supervising my work.

We are both ready for this move to be over.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How did I miss the whole month of April?

Wow, I knew it had been a while since I blogged, but over a whole month?? Where did April go? Well, most of it was taken up with a sinus infection. Mainly, April was spent coughing and sneezing. Then there was the week in Knoxville and a trip to Atlanta. Oh and there was many happy dances done by me and a lot of others over a move of the NSN BOD. Finally, they woke up.

Also, some of the month was taken up with packing. We're moving a whole seven tenths of a mile away. So the smell of cardboard is in the air. The new place is on the other side of the 4 lane so I'm getting as bike. The walk to town will be easy. There's more yard to mow so we bought a riding mower. I've used it twice on this place and can barely getting it going on the flat areas before I have to turn, But it's fast!

We already are filled up for the storytelling festival in October. Two of my most fav teller friends are staying with us along with another teller that I don't know that well. I know what I'm like with Karen or Meg alone. Put all three of us together and add another Karen (who writes great blogs) and hopefully the house will still be standing and Tony won't have run screaming into the night. I already have the meals planned and am counting the days.

There's been one moving disaster already. Last Friday Sissy Ann insisted on checking out an open box. Most of our boxes are book size so when she jumps in, she will check it out and jump back out. Not this one.

Before I could put the camera done she had found her way out of it, but it did take a while. She's shied away from that box ever since.

I promised Tony that I would have the Kiwanis KY/TN District 7 website up before the spring meeting that was on Sat. I managed to get it done a few days ahead of time. Now I need to finish the Jonesborough club's site.

More to come and hopefully, it won't be a month away.

Monday, March 24, 2008

May Pops

I've googled May Pops and was happy to see the first listing was from a good southern school - Auburn.

May-pop, Passion-Flower (Passiflora incarnata)Passion-flower
has long attracted the attention of amateurs and botanists alike. This hardy
perennial vine comes from a family of mainly tropical plants. Its genus,
Passiflora, is the only genus of its family in the United States. Two species
occur in our state, incarnata and lutea. Lutea is the yellow passion-flower only
rarely seen. Incarnata is the purple one, common and beautiful.
incarnata (usually called May-pop) has a blossom with five sepals and five
petals. It has a crown or corona of white or lavender fringe banded with purple.
In the center of the blossom is a column of united stamens enclosing a pistil
with three heads (stigmas). This beautiful complex blossom is exquisite in
This plant is a vine ten feet to twenty feet long, with alternate
leaves. The leaves are from two and one-half to six inches long and wide. Each
leaf is palmately three-lobed with finely serrated edges. At the base of each
blade are two small bumps (nectar-bearing glands).
The flower buds come in
the axils of the leaves, as do long tendrils which the vine uses for climbing
over whatever is near it. The fruit is an edible leathery berry (the may-pop).
It is the size and shape of a hen egg; green at first and turning yellowish as
it ripens. When stomped, it makes a loud pop. It blooms from late May
through October.
It is called Passion-flower because the early explorers
thought there was some resemblance in the structure of the blossom to the
implements of the crucifixion.

They grew wild in our backyard until my parents planted a huge garden. I loved playing with them. Maybe May Pops was my first real introduction to storytelling. There were various tales about the flowers. We used to tell one about a lady with a hat carrying two loaves of bread. You could pluck parts of the flowers and make the lady. Then there was the fruit. What a great sound it make when popped.

I got my May Pop plant last week and today planted it. I can't wait to see those flowers. There still seems something wrong about paying good money for something that grew wild. But, it will be worth it. If you want yours go to Gurneys. They are only $7.95.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

No, this isn't about basketball.

And for any non-storytelling and NSN readers, I apologize ahead of time for the rant.

But hey, this is MY blog, I can rant if I want.

Today, my former employer the National Storytelling Network, lost an excellent Board member. Finally, there had been someone on the board who not only knew about fundraising, but had indeed been successful at raising those funds. David Joe Miller would have done great things for the organization. Sadly, he has resigned.

Let me add them up:
I resigned
Holly resigned
Jason resigned
Laura resigned
Eric resigned

That's the staff members since July 2007 who have left.

Then there were the three board members and now DJM.

I don't know the reasons for three of the four BOD members. But I do know that when all this turmoil can be traced back to one source, there is a MAJOR problem.

This madness has to end!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Way to go, Rishi

My friend Rishi defended her thesis last week. She is one more step closer to her Masters degree in the storytelling program at ETSU.She writes about the day on her blog.

I met Rishi in Feb. 2004 when I interviewed at NSN. She told me about the program and how she hoped to finish by Dec. 2004. Now three plus years later, you might say that Rishi is a procrastinator. I don't.

The whole time Rishi and I were together at NSN, she worked on her story and her thesis.

She had just married in 2003.

In 2004, there were the newlywed adjustments, buying a house, moving, plus work, flying to Bellingham for the conference, being a friend, etc.

The next year, she worked on her story and thesis, was a wife, was pregnant, was a mother, worked at NSN, was a friend, etc.

Then in 2006, she worked on her story and thesis, worked at NSN, was a wife, mother, friend, etc. Oh, yeah, pregnant and mother again.

She left NSN in Dec. 2006, which was a great loss. She had been the corporate memory as well as a wonderful face of NSN. Now I was the corporate memory (almost 3 years) LOL

Since then she has moved to NC then to WV. And last week she made another step forward to that Masters degree.

Procrastinator? No way. Persistent, preserver, prevailer, pursuer.

That's Rishi.

Way to go!

And yes, I took the picture from your blog.

Friday, February 29, 2008

What did you do all week?

It snowed in Jonesborough this week. I was hoping to have lots of pictures to post. But it was not to be. All around us got lots of snow. We hardly got any.

So I thought about cooking something and showing the end result. Well, I made a nice pot roast yesterday or should I say, the crock pot made it. And I made chili. But everyone has seen pot roast and chili.

Finally, I thought about showing off the new shower curtain. It took me over a week to find the right material. But the material is still material, not a shower curtain.

So there's the knitting. OK, fine I didn't knit either. What exactly did I do all week? Heck if I know.

It's Friday, so I'm not going to worry about it. Have a good weekend.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Zel

My friend Zel (in red) celebrated her 70th birthday this evening with 20 plus friends. I was privileged to one of the invited guests.

Zel’s story is her own. I cannot tell it. But it’s enough for me to say that I stand in awe of someone who has lived the life she has and has maintained a love of her fellow man and knows with absolute certainty that she is a child of a loving God.

She did not want a big deal to be made over her birthday. She was slightly embarrassed at the attention we gave her tonight. (Not to mention that calling down for noise that the waitress gave all of us.) She says she has reached the point in her life that she doesn’t want things. Things to dust and things to care for and things to worry about are not what she is about. So we showered her with gift certificates and donations to causes she believes in and gives her heart to. She gives tirelessly to the
Compassionate Friends organization. Having lost two sons, she walks the walk.

What a strange week it has been.

This week I lost a friend to the beast.

This week I honored and remembered what would have been my daddy’s 96th (Feb 21,1912) birthday. (Yes, Cheryl, I can do math.)

And I was privileged to celebrated my friend’s 70th birthday.

Life, death, precious memories, friends, having my daddy’s ears. What an extraordinary adventure life is.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My friend CY

My friend CY
Cheryl Thomason

We came to know each other through a breast cancer survivor board. The picture was taken last August. Some of the members of the group got together in upstate NY for what was called Pinkstock 07. From all reports they had a rocking good time. The little NY town might be back to normal by now.

Cy was diagnosed April 24, 2007. She died Tuesday night.

This blog isn't read by many. (I check the stats.) But to those who read it, get your mammogram or get your lady to get hers.

Do it for that lady in the twirling pink dress whose smile lit up the NY countryside. Do it for CY.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Can I interest you?

Tony went to a Key Club district meeting today. They say he's the first Lt. Gov. to come to Key Club events. They think it's great of him, but he just views it as his duty to the kids.

That left me at home this afternoon. Here's what I did.
Then I waited
Care to join me? Mmmmm!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fast Company did it again.

They made me think.

I received my March copy today. I always flip entirely through any magaizine I get, then sit down and read it when I have time. I guess I should change the "always" in the sentence above. I also received Sports Illustrated today and it's NOT the issue I look foward to every year. Swinsuits...hahaha.

Anyway, I never finished flipping through FC when I came upon the one page article titled Another Inconvenient Truth. The gist of the article was the overwhelming knee jeck reaction of companies to hop on the green bandwagon is largely bogus.

I'll admit I like my creature comforts, but I do care about mother Earth. I don't want to contribute to her demise. And I want to believe that corporate America cares, also. Yeah, yeah, what planet do I live on.

Read the article. But I just checked. They haven't uploaded March yet.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh, to go...

My friend David Joe is trying to make me crazy. He mentioned the Philly Auto show in his blog. I responded that he needed to be planning a trip to the Philly Flower Show. So what does he do? Sends me 2 full pages from the Inquirer (a real newspaper) about what to expect when you go.

Big sigh.

During the six years we lived in SE PA, we were able to go to the show once. That was enough to hook me. I'm not much of a gardener. I like to play in dirt and am usually astonded when something actually grows. But I can appreciate those who do it right.

I'm the one who's mother took back the snake plant she gave me for my college dorm room. Rescued it would be more like it. Seems even indestructible Sansevieria species (snake plants) don't like to be feed "whatever" liquid (use your imagination) is in the cup.

But I digress...the flower show. Let's see, it's 548 miles door to door. If I leave at 7 am I can be there by 3:30 pm. Only 18 more days.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shower curtains, hats, scarves and buttons

This is the week to replace the shrunken shower curtain. But it's much more. By this time next week, I hope to have a new shower curtain, waste basket cover, toilet seat cover, valance AND a shower curtain. I found the pattern on Sat. and now need to get the material. Then my sewing machine will be working overtime.

I already replaced my shrunken hat with a new, washable one, along with a scarf. I don't like scarves that are long. It's just too much material around my neck. I'll knit the right size for others, but I make mine short. And to make sure it stays in place, I added a button.

The button on it and the hat are special. I went through all my buttons. My buttons stash consists of all the ones I've collected as well as all my mother's. Those two were definitely in her stash. I don't have a clue about age. I did find a few upholstered ones that I reconized as coming from the green sofa that I somersaulted off at 18 months. Broke my collarbone with that stunt.

The scarf and hat are really red with some multi-colored specks. I don't have a clue why they look TN Vol orange in the pictures. I've been knitting like crazy. If anyone needs a hat or scarf, just let me know. If you'r a Small Stuff reader, they would be free except for the two skeins of yarn. And I buy Lion Brand Homespun for 4 bucks a skein.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A real net surfing find

Net surfing can lead to some very interesting sites. I got an email this morning from proporting a great weekend sale. So I clicked on it , checked out some things and then saw this link on the left side.


Ok, I'll bite.

Sure enough. You can buy a casket on

They have 12 styles to choose from and prices ranging from$1499.99 to $2499.99.

I checked out the Solid Cherry Wood for $2499.99. Heck, why not go for the best.
Now this is really a good deal. Their price is 50% off the regular price. I couldn't find a review for this item though, so I passed. I like to know what other people think about their purchases. You know...was it pretty, how much upkeep does it take, is it sized right, was it all they said it was?

I checked again. Nope there was no review. I guess I'll pass on that one. Let's see. Here's one with a
review. Yeah that was what I wanted to know.

Now there are some things buyers need to know when buying these items on

The main thing is to plan ahead:

They ship within 2 business days. So have that credit card ready.

Also, if you live in Idaho or Utah, you'll need to ship it to a friend in another state. They don't deliver to you guys.
And make sure that you don't need it delivered on a Sunday. They don't do that either.

According to the site there is a "sellout risk" so make sure you get your order in soon.
Now the good news...They have a "No Payments for 6 Months" options.

Oh, and I checked. They don't sell burial plots. For that you need to go to eBay.

As the song from Jay and the Americans goes..Only in America


Friday, February 8, 2008

Click to Give

There are ceertain sites I go to daily. I even have them bookmarked in a folder called Daily.

I have three newspaper sites
1. Johnson City (TN) Press
2. Greenville (SC) News
3. Anderson (SC) IndependentMail

I have one knitting site I visit: Ravelry

Now you might think I have alot of blog sites because I read a lot of blogs daily. But I use Bloglines to tell me when my favorite blogs have been updated. And that site is one of my home page tabs.

There is one other daily site.

Did you know that within a matter of seconds (about15) you can:
  • Give 1.1 cups of food to the hurgry
  • Help give free mammograms
  • Help a child in need get healthcare
  • Help a child in need attain literacy
  • Help to protect 11.4 square feet of rainforest.
  • Give the value of .6 bowls of food to rescued animals.

The site is Greater Good. com

Is it for real? Well, I cannot find anything that says it isn't. You know the internet. If there's something bogus out there usually someone will blow the whistle. The site proclaims that:
Each person's daily click on the Click To Give™ sites displays sponsor
advertising. One hundred percent (100%) of sponsor advertising is paid as a
royalty to charity through the non-profit, tax-exempt

There are also opportunities to support the sponsors. I've looked at some of the stores and there's some neat stuff offered. They also accept monatery donations.

I look at it this way: if it is for real then it's about 15 seconds of my life to help those 6 causes listed above. If it's a scam, then all I lost was 15 seconds. And as long as I'm not eating something fattening in those 15 seconds as opposed to clinking the sites, then I haven't lost anything.

Anyone else out there a Click To Give™ er?

Why do I read the newspapers? I check the obituaries. I am my mother's daugher. She used to bring the paper in, open it on the kitchen table, turn to the back of the first section and read the obituaries. I have become the electronic equivalent of my mother. Sigh!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The bread recipe

Here's the recipe I used for the Cranberry Bread. I changed it some. I just wasn't sure about the chocolate. I left out the nuts because originally I was making it for Tony to take to work. He hasn't been there long enough for me to know about the other folk's allergies.

Chocolate Cranberry Nut Bread

Makes 1.5 pound loaf (16 slices)

2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons margarine or butter (I used butter)
3 cups bread flour (I always use King Arthur)
3/4 teaspons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast (I use 1 packet of Red Star)
1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts (I would use either walnuts or pecans next time)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cups miniture semisweet chocolate pieces

Taken from Better Homes and Gardens The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking...Recipes for 1 1/2 & 2 lb. Loaves
ISBN #0-20967-5

If you make the original recipe, send reports back. This particular book has lots of good recipes. Everything I've made from it has turned out great.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blogging...What I've learned so far

Check your links. In yesterday's post I copied from someone's blog. I gave him credit and had a link to his site. What I negelected to do was check his Comments links. Thanks to my friend Diane, I have removed those links. It appeared that someone put a lot of very questionable links in his comments. So I've edited yesterday's post. And I apologize for my lack of diligence.

Now that that's taken care of...I'd like to welcome my friend David Joe Miller to the world of blogs. David Joe is the first storyteller I ever met. He and his lovely wife Robin moved to Philly and that gives us another reason to head up to one of our favorite areas of the country. We had a great dinner with him over Labor Day and then again when they came down for Christmas.

Stop in and encourage him. He's got a wicked sense of humor and I'm sure it will come out in the blog.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A long walk

I want to tell you about a remarkable journey which I feel part of if only a tiny bit.

In March of 2006 a gentleman walked into our little town. We had never heard of Jesse WhiteCrow, but soon he was part of us.

We had a great two or three days with him. I invited him to have lunch with the NSN staff. They didn't seem to see the storyteller I saw. He doesn't do it like others. People who do it outside the box are always suspect by those who live in the box.

I have followed Jesse's journey these last almost two years. When I read his last blog entry, I wanted to hop on the next flight and be there with him when he takes those last steps. That won't happen, but I'll be there with him.

If you would like to read about this remarkable journey, you can find the blog at Just click on the blog link. I'm trying to find the photos we tokk then.

I'm including his post about that time in March 2005 and his last post. Hope it whets your interest.

17 March 2006

Living In Pictures, Jonesborough TN
Black clouds move their chairs over this Norman Rockwell town, preparing to sit and give up a bit of rain. From the Cranberry Thistle Coffee Shop in downtown Jonesborough I sip their brew of beans as I have every morning for three days. They are very kind, trying to feed my pack as much coffee as they pour in me. I'll love the fresh beans on the trail. As I write, Nancy whisper's to locals about what the walker at the computer screen is doing after he passes through their town. My feet are wiser dogs now. They lie under the table and sleep while they can. They stretch, yawn, and then roll from one side to the other. Dogs know when the rain is coming. Words more than clouds of black hold me in this wicker chair. It is the first week of camp and I am in love more than this trail heart can bear. Trouble is that I am so over stimulated I don't know which pretty girl to carve out my heart for. Yesterday I walked these streets of photogenic facades feeling like I was home in Stockbridge Ma, or Great Barrington. I walked into The Lollipop Shop on Main to look at all the treats, and vintage reproduction children's peddle carts and trikes. Grabbing a handful of dark chocolate, I made for the register. My pack was back at the Franklin House, so this man didn't know my face or story. With a tender smile the older gentleman simple said, "No charge." With my feet under this desk I am still running way ahead of myself.

This town was not a notch on my compass. Coffee. The magic walking bean became my magnetic pull that made my inner needle wiggle. "OLDEST TOWN IN TENN." Thats how the sign read as I broke from intent to desire. On the right as I came into history I saw a library on the right. Many days had passed since I had last found a computer. A week? Tapping computer keys was another fix that I needed to fill.At the counter of the library I gave a quick introduction, never sure how I'll be recieved. It was not the laying out of words with thought. As a cowboy claps the dust across his pant legs with his leather gloves before entering a house from the trail, I have words that I clap against my sleaves to take the road from my shirt. Quickly, questions come to me from the ladies gathered at the back tables. There are many smiles. Smiles are good. At a computer screen that still reflected me pulling notes from my journal bag, I had two invitations for lunch from separate locals. The library ladies asked first so I was to become their guest of honor. Dona called reporters until they came with pens pulled from behind their ears. Dona called them all. Through a lunch of still warm fries, and barbeque chicken on a toasted roll I told stories that pulled half a dozen women away from the table, past the creeks, to where the moose still runs. We talked about snow. We talked about the change of a man, moving toward purpose.

Before lunch was over, Dona offered me a room at her bed and breakfast up the hill. I returned to the computer after press pictures flashed, and Dona gave me directions to The Franklin House, an 1840's house that she rebuilt with her husband Charles with sweat and love. An hour into being in Jonesborough and I had two separate offers to spend the night. Again Dona was first, so I became her guest.Bed and breakfasts are God's gift to the traveling man and woman that acke for grandmother's smells, a mother's attentive coil of deep towels by the bathroom sink, and meals that made you want to pray while you ate even though you just said grace. The Franklin House moved one night into another, and then slipped another under the door while I slept, or was it while I walked through these streets that made me want to collect all those I love in my eyes so they too could see this town too without the hurdles of my words. History came here to visit, then decided to stay. Jonesborough was a pretty girl winking at me, as her hand found mine under the table while her mother served me pie.Last night, Chuck, Dona and myself had to chew quickly though our dinner at the Dogwood Lane Resturant, which of course is a cruel sin when the mouth begs to linger over flavors the mind forgot existed. We had to get to a poetry reading, and talk at the town's visitor's center. George Ella Lyon, who was also staying at the Franklin House, was the award winning poet we were quickening to see.

01 February 2008

Walking Down
Although I climb now into Mount Rainer before again hooking toward the
western coast, I am winding down the walk to Cape Flattery on the Washington
N.W. coastal point. In approx. 5 weeks the walk will be over except for the last
ten to twenty miles to be shared. (Of course this date will be fine tuned as I
leave the land of extreme weather for the coast of rain so completion plans can
be made.) All are welcome from across America to come and walk this last day(or
as much as your comfortable walking) as I take the last steps to the sea. Some
have already made plans, and there are those that would love to be there but are
unable. I will be beyond thrilled to walk the last miles with those I have met
across this country of ours. Even if you are unable to make the distance to
northern Washington I will carry names, faces, memories of all of you that have
shared your lives and personal America with me. This has been the walk based on
a child's dream. This has been the walk of a lifetime. I will update dates and
information as possible.

(Taken from the children's book Paddle To The Sea)

For that instant he looked like his own paddle.
There was a song in his heart.

It crept to his lips.
But only the wind and the water could hear.
You little traveler, you made the journey, the long journey.
You know things I have yet to know you little traveler.
You are given a name , a true name in my father's lodge.
Good medicine little traveler.
You are truely a paddle person.

(As read by Chris in the Morning, KBHR radio, 'Northern Exposure' ep. The
Final Frontier / Paddle To The Sea) posted by WhiteCrowWalking @ 3:33 PM

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Great Cranberry Bread

My friend Rishi asked in a comment yesterday how the bread turned out. I'll show you. Here's what's left of the loaf. It's very good.

For breakfast I had a slice. I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on it and put it under the broiler. Wish computers had smells capacity. It smelled as good as it tasted.

I took Tony to work today. The sunrise was beautiful. Granny Sue always has the best candid shots on her blog. I'm not much of a photographer, but I did pull into a parking lot and snapped this.
It would probably have been better if I had gotten out of the car, but hey, it's in the 20s here today. So excuse the steering wheel, etc. and what passes as urban sprawl in Johnson City.
Some housekeeping stuff...I changed some setting yesterday and made it where everyone who reads my blog can make a comment. I'm not even sure if there are many who do read it, so I figure I won't get much spam.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making bread

Today seems like a good bread making day. When I first bought the bread machine in 1999 I used it a lot. Then what with work and all, it sat. I pulled it out a few weeks ago and made a great basil loaf. Then it went back in the cupboard. But today seems like a good day for a nice sweet bread. So hopefully in a few hours the house will smell great and there will be a cooling loaf of cranberry bread waiting to slice.

So now I wait.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Spring will come

I wrote on my Facebook page today that I was feeling content. Well, yeah, but I could use some Spring. It's 26 degrees outside. I'd love some singing birds, blooming flowers, warm breezes, and bright green leaves.

This will have to do for another few months. I pulled it back out this morning. It sits on a shelf behind the toilet.

There's a little waterfall that you really can't see too well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dark Night

7:45 pm. Jeopardy was going to commercial. Next up was Double Jeopardy. The lights flickered. Then the went off for a couple of seconds and back on. Then darkness. The temperature outside was in the teens. We waited to hear the sirens. Usually when this happens someone ran into a pole. This time there was silence. The grocery store down the road was dark, so we knew we just didn't forget to pay the bill. LOL

So here we sat. The only light came from the screens of our laptop. In the dark, getting colder, no electricity and yet, we still could be on the web. It's a little of a mind boggler.

The candles and oil lamps were lit. The fragrances for 5 different candles melded into an interesting blend. It was a good smell. We called friends to see if they had power. Yep.

Time passed and still the batteries held in the laptops. Friends called to invite us to stay if the outage continues or just to come over for a drink. We were already in our pj's, so we declined the drinks, but kept the invitation to stay open.

Batteries started to die. So long outside world.

DH starts calling the power board. That is what they said to do on their website. "Call us if you are experiencing an outage." They don't say anyone will answer. The oil lamp came a little closer and the knitting was pulled out.

Here we sat listening to the power board tell us they are experiencing a high volume of calls, knitting continuing and it's getting colder.

Finally a real person answers. No, they don't know when the power will be restored. They are working very hard.

10 or 15 minutes later light flooded the room, the TV showed a commercial, and the blessed sound of the furnace blower filled the air.

All in all, it was a pretty good night. And we were in much better shape than those power board workers out in the cold. Thanks guys and gals. You did good. Now can you do something about your answering service?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter Weather

It's snowing here in East TN. It's also cold and the temperature is going down. Black ice was the phrase of the day on all the news stations. We have stones in our walkway. Each one is a little ice covered stone. I don't go out on days like this. I'm not afraid to drive. Having lived as long as we did in the Ohio snow belt taught me a lot about icy and snowy driving. No, I don't go out because I have no assurance that the other drivers have the same driving skills I possess. And I'd rather not find out that they don't.

So here I sit. I have homemade chicken noodle soup in the crock pot. I pulled out the bread machine so we'll have some fresh bread to go with the soup. And I'm experimenting with a puff pastry fruit thing for dinner. I'll let you know how that comes out.

I'm almost finished with a scarf to match my new hat and have started a hat for a friend who is in the local rehab hospital. He had a stroke and is having to re-learn lots of things. He's a good man. I'm hoping he'll be needing a hat when the weather gets a little warmer and he's able to go outside.

The sun is now out and it's still snowing. Got to love east TN weather.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's a Dirty Job

I'm a fan of Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel. I get a kick out of all the ways Mike Rowe can get dirty. But the thing I really like is the way it shows ordinary people doing their job. The magazine Fast Company has a great article about the history of the show. You can read the article at

Here's a quote from it.

In his surprising second act, Rowe finds himself unexpectedly embracing a value
system built around work, a kind of morality of labor. "This show is really
about balance," he declares. People who do dirty jobs tend to "work hard and
be pillars of the community. They're happy outside of work." So taking on
subjects that don't reflect those themes doesn't sit well with him. "The
celebration of work, and the mixing of pain and fun--that's what it's all
about," he says. "It's the Puritan work ethic repackaged as a deliberate way
of living."

I like that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm the Queen

No, not the writer of this blog. Heavens, I haven't been the queen for years. No, here's the queen.

Her name is SissyAnn. We have belonged to her for 3.5 years. She allows us to sleep in her bed (see above). She allows us to feed her and take care of her daily needs. Fortunately she is easily entertained. Unfortunately we didn't find that out until we had brought many store bought toys to her. She turned up her nose at most of them. A plain white piece of crumpled paper though will send her into a state of frenzied happiness.

She will be featured more in blog postings, if only her pictures.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I'm shrinking. No, I'm not losing weight. I wish that were so. My story on that subject is it's the meds. Everything I'm on has a side effect of gaining weight. Heck, I didn't even lose weight on chemo. So I'm blaming the meds and I'm sticking with that.

No, I seem to be shrinking other things. The shower curtain was the second thing in a month that I shrunk.

I bought some yarn in Little Rock when we were there for Christmas 2005. My sister has asked me several times if I ever made the hat from that yarn. It was the perfect match for my winter njacket. This past Nov. I pulled it out and knitted my hat.
I took a picture for posterity. That's my first bear, Teddy modeling it. I wasn't very original with names at 3 or 4 years of age.

It hasn't been very cold here yet, so I only wore it a few times. (I can tell, you already know what's coming.) I wore it to our At Home With Santa day. Our Kiwanis booth was on the porch of the Visitor's Center. We made cotton candy for the kids. I was practically covered in the pink sticky stuff. When I finished my shift, my jacket, gloves and hat went into the washing machine.

Oops, that hat was made of wool yarn. Oh my, what a cute little thing it became. Even Teddy can't wear it now. But Kent (i.e. Kent State) now has warm ears.

I've since knitted myself new hat and this time it's made out of washable yarn. Sigh! They say things come in threes. Maybe my butt will be next to shrink.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Shower Curtain

When we moved our bedroom from upstairs to down, I bought a new shower curtain for the bathroom. I went to a big box home improvement store and found a white waffle designed cotton curtain. The lighting isn't that great in there so I wanted plain white.

This past Monday I decided it was CLEAN the bathroom day. That means scrubbing, polishing and lots of laundry. I washed all the mats, rugs and curtains. Now I have to ask a question. Have you ever read the label on your fabric shower curtain? I haven't. I should have.

When I put it back up it had become a table cloth for a small table. I read the label...Dry clean only. DRY CLEAN ONLY?? Who dry cleans a shower curtain. Who would make a curtain that needs it. Gee.

So since Monday, the bathroom looks like this.

Now the liner serves it's purpose, But I'm not crazy over a per chance glimpse in the mirror. I might just quit taking showers. And I don't want to go searching for another curtain.

Here's my thought and I need some advice...

I ended up with a quilt top that my mother made.

I don't have a clue how old it is. I don't recognize any of the fabrics. It's at least 54 years old. (Am I giving anything away?) The original plan for it was to of course make it into a quilt. But I'm not a quilter. So I'm thinking about putting some backing on it, running a piece along the back to hang on a tension rod, finish off the sides and make it into a shower curtain. If I do, you can be sure that next time I WILL dry clean this one.

So do you think it's a good idea? I need help!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The meaning of the name

I've joined the 21st century and become a blogger. Actually I was already a blogger, but it was for a group I belong to and we were trying to keep a sweet cat boy alive.

Now, it's for me (and hopefully you).

So about the favorite saying is, "Don't sweat the small stuff." and the axiom of that is "Everything is small stuff." That my words to live by. Now I know that "everything" (war, death, disease, violence, meanness, etc.) is not "small stuff." It's big stuff. And when a big stuff comes into my life I treat it as just that. However, I try to let the annoyances, the bad things that can become OK things, and similar life occurrences stay "small stuff."

One of my most loved wall hangings is a picture given to us by Christ Presbyterian Church when we left for SC. I had been the Clerk of Session for many years as well as the Director of Christian Education. Charlie, who was the CE committee chair asked me one day before I left what my favorite saying was. I think he expected me to give a Bible reference. I said "Don't sweat the small stuff...and everything is small stuff." On the Sunday they gave us a goodbye reception, we were given this

How cool is that. Come to find out, it was Charlie's wife who did the painting. It has hung in every workplace since then and now in our home office. I love it.

So you know how the name came about. What is next? I guess we will both find out.