Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another Happy Birthday to me!

On my birthday, my daughter told me she had realized (duh!) that she could order my present on line and didn't have to wait until she returned to New Orleans to buy it. So - it was on its way though it would be late. That's fine, honey. And I promptly forgot about that part of the conversation. 
Today Dean came upstairs from the office with a package in his hand. 

Pralines! They bought me New Orleans pralines!! There is no way to tell you in writing how excited I am about this. Oh Yum!!! I Love pralines - the original and creamy (not the sticky caramel ones). Pralines, pralines, I have pralines!! One of the original ones has already disappeared. You didn't really expect me to sit here and wait until after dinner, did you? The dilemma: eat them all at once or slowly, slowly savor them. I think I will find an in between time because after all now I have the website and can order my own. Plus I have told her she can give me pralines anytime. They are never to say, "Oh, we can't give mom pralines again." Oh yes you can!! Anytime. Yum!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Return of Bob Cratchit

Our house is cold in the mornings and therefore things in the house are cold. This includes the computer keyboard. During my birthday shopping events, we found fingerless gloves. We both bought a pair. I haven’t seen Dean in his nor do I know when he will wear them. I am wearing mine this morning and typing in comfort without freezing my hands and wrists. It’s a little awkward and I am very happy. Our Victorian ancestors knew a thing or two about staying warm in northern European winters. I love my little gloves.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On The Third Day of My Birth Day,

the company gave to me ~ Dinner! 

But first ~ 

a workout

Lunch ~ followed by a French manicure

then dinner and the opportunity to make new friends and visit with old ones

And on the fourth day of my birthday, we gave to me ~ a lovely buffet breakfast, a shopping trip to Carson City which included some goodies from World Market, new shoes, picture frames Dean will fill with some of his art pictures from around the lake, and a very necessary and practical trip to Costco. All followed by One. More. Meal. at In & Out Burger!! What a treat. 

All in all, it has been a wonderful birthday and a delightful way to start a new year. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On The Day of my Birth,

my true love gave to me ~ Lunch!

Wild Cherries: ham melt followed mid-afternoon by a chai shake. Yum!

 Shopping spree:
Bass Outlet for clothes 

and the thrift shop where I found 8 matching water glasses for 50 cents each. 

A lovely wander through our only local bookstore where I bought books. 

And finally an afternoon fire to keep warm while writing and reading. It is a lovely day for being born! 

On The First Day of My Birthday,

some friends gave to me ~ Lunch! 

It has become a habit with some women friends to gather for lunch occasionally. Usually we go to a restaurant and I had so much fun having them here at Christmas that I decided to do the same for my birthday. Their gift to me was that I didn’t need to cook. That troubled my southern soul, but I stuck to it and provided only the home and the table. 

Lunch included a rich veggie quiche, a beet with goat cheese salad and chicken salad with apples, almonds, and cranberries. Every bite yummy!! Lovely tangy lemon cupcakes finished the meal.

There were also some butterflies included in the gifting - always appreciated by this butterfly lady. 

A delightful time was had by all and I developed a birthday grin that will continue for a while.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Splish, Splash, I'm Takin' a Bath

When I come home from gym in the  mornings, I take a shower. Simple. Once in a while though, if something is happening later in the day, I may wait awhile, staying in my gym clothes for most of the day. Yesterday that was my plan ~ until I had a really good work out and came home desperately needing that shower, both for my sake as well as those around me. So of course I took it. And it got me thinking about bathing. 

The Romans made a big thing of baths ~ lovely public baths, suitable for bathing, discussion, political intrigue, health and even sex. The Greeks saw their public baths more as ritual preparation for war or celebration. Bathing was a part of daily ~ or at least weekly ~ life. 

The idea of bathing moved into Europe along with the Romans and humans were bathing regularly. And then came the plague. Epidemics of all sort swept across the face of Europe and people in the know declared part of the problem to be public baths, the lead in the pipes carrying the water, and the bodily germs that spread so easily that way. Public baths closed and the idea of bathing became anathema.

The Church decided that attendance at public baths, for whatever reason, put one’s thoughts on a less than higher plain. People should be concentrating on God, not on the things of the flesh. Cleanliness did not become next to Godliness for a long time. 

Give some thought to the Tudor, Elizabethan and Jacobean eras in England. Clothes were of heavy materials, layered against other warm materials, decorated (for the aristocracy at least) with heavy jewels. Now all this might have been fine in the winter but even northern European summers get warm and carrying around all that weight caused people to sweat. You’ve seen pictures of men with dainty lace hankies pressed to their noses. Those hankies were doused in perfume and allowed the carrier to breathe something besides themselves and the people around them. 

June became the month for weddings because the air was finally warm enough for a bride to have her yearly (if not her first) bath in comfort so she smelled sweet for her wedding night. 

And then in the early 1800s the plagues came again to Britain and water was seen as part of the solution to the problem. Energy was put into finding ways to bring water easily and cheaply into homes so that people could wash. Cleanliness had finally made it up there next to Godliness. 

Some of this I knew. Some I enjoyed reading about at If you are interested in more, this is a very good article. Enjoy your next bath or shower! with blessings

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Just One of Those Days

This has been one of those days when lots of ordinary things were accomplished:
~ mail opened and organized and ready to file 
~ bills paid
~ information copied and ready to send to the insurance company that is covering Dean’s accident - back in May and we are still working on it
~ Grandkids’ weekly letter written (and printed and in envelopes to mail)
~ Oso brushed . . and brushed . . and brushed . . oh my we waited too long! We have enough fur for a whole new dog!

See? Just ordinary stuff and yet the feeling of accomplishment is So Good. 

Now if it would just snow ~ 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's Always Good to Check

 Susan: so what is this event you are attending Saturday night?
Dean: It is a chucker dinner to raise money for the environment. They shoot peasants. 
Susan: Excuse me? They do what?
Dean: They shoot pheasants. Pheasants are known as chuckers.
Susan: OH!!! 

Phew - am I glad I checked!! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Epiphany Blessings

We send out an Epiphany letter each year giving thanks for the gift of friends in our lives. You, dear readers, are my friends too even though I don't know the large majority of you. It is truly amazing how many views are recorded for this little blog. So ~ here we are and I am grateful for your continued visits. Blessings on your journey wherever it takes you in 2014.
Please click on the page to enlarge it to reading size. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Complications of an Apology

The Complications of an Apology: The first part of this saga is not complicated at all. I hurt and offended people I love and I apologized. “I’m sorry” is not difficult. And I meant it. I would not hurt anyone if I can help it.

The posted apology elicited all sorts of personal support from we need to be able to read anything no matter who wrote it to simple personal support of my being a good gentle person and understanding I would never hurt deliberately. For those I am so grateful. 

Then My Correspondent requested I remove the offensive blog. So I did. That’s when the complications arose. That smacked of censorship to some folks who even mentioned the book burnings in Germany. Now I know My Correspondent very, very well. This person would fight to the death to keep any book from being burned, even one by an author with 180 degree difference of opinion. 

Life is complicated. Ideas, concepts, differences of opinion are complicated. We need to be willing to discuss, argue, debate and converse over all sorts of thoughts. We need to be willing to take the consequences of what we say ~ which perhaps means losing book sales or a job or simply saying “I’m sorry.” 
So let me address the issue at the heart of the saga.  Bill O’Reilly’s reputation is self-styled and very clear.  I'm not going to give him the energy or attention to research and quote him directly.  The fact is, he is actively unsupportive of the race, sexuality, spirituality, and core beliefs of members of my family and many of my friends.  This is the source of the upset.  I honored My Correspondent's request and pulled the blog because, while anyone else is welcome to sing his praises as a story-teller, when his public vitriol hits this close to my home and my heart, I'll honor those I love instead. 

Monday, January 6, 2014


Dear friends and readers of this blog ~ I owe you an apology for the last entry. I have been taken roundly to task for recommending a book by Bill O’Reilly whose politics and theological stance is so diametrically opposed to my own and to many of yours. 

I have hurt people that I love and care about and I am truly sorry. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Starting the Year with a Bang . . . uh, Bag

I have a very nice purse.  Found it on sale while in NOLA in June. Very compact. Practically perfect. However, a friend, knowing how much I love butterflies, gave me a new one for Christmas. It is not only decorative, it is also very practical for my life. See what is sticking out of the large side pocket ~ my Kindle!
I have always made sure I had a book with me. You never know when you will have a chance to read. As nice as my other purse is, it couldn't handle the Kindle. This one can. Everything else goes into pockets on the other side and this side is the one that convinced me to carry it on a daily basis. 
I still have the other one and if I need to be more formal, I can switch for a short time. For now, my butterflies, my Kindle and me!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Delicious New Year's Treat

What a fun way to start a new year ~ teaching one of my very best recipes to another member of the family. We have a grandson who plays hockey, skis, plays board and video games, sings in the chorus at school, and knows nothing about a kitchen. Doing something for himself is either pulling out leftovers or asking his sister to do it for him. She is three years younger than he is so it really is time he knows something about food. I decided he can eat leftovers for the rest of his life as far as I’m concerned as long as he knows how to do one brilliant thing in the kitchen. 

What else? The Mama Susan’s pecan pie!! 

As I was going to make one any way, I “just” called him into the kitchen and said exactly what I just told you. Eat all the leftovers you want, and . . . know how to make one amazing dish. 

He had never read a recipe so after he had banished his sister from the kitchen,  we started with the basics. Because there was no real reason for him to learn the Tahoe kitchen, I got out the ingredients. All he did was read the recipe, do what I said and made the pie. We went with a Marie Callandar’s frozen pie crust for ease and not to scare him too much. I want this to become an easy pleasure. The pie was delicious.

I hope he makes another very soon so he remembers. He will also have his own cleaning up to do. I took that burden off his shoulders the first time. And let’s be honest - and toot my own horn just a little - his family will be so grateful, his buddies won’t believe it the first time they get together for pizza and he offers to bring dessert, and when he finds himself in a personal relationship, he will be loved for his pie as well as for his delightful, funny, amazing self. It was a good way to start the new year for both of us.