Monday, December 31, 2012


"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."

Hal Borland
American author

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More than a pin (a Kathi post)

Here is a very pretty, vintage Christmas tree pin. But it's way more than that.

When I look at this pin, I think of when I bought it (in the mid- to late-1960's).

My Grandma Lovey used to take my sisters and my cousin downtown every Christmas to see the sights and go shopping. We would take the bus 'cause Grandma never bought a car or got a driver's license. She drove when she and my Grandpa had a farm, but once they moved to Denver, she never bothered with the car or license since she could walk up a few blocks and catch a bus to anywhere.

Grandma Lovey would herd us onto the bus, and tell us when to pull the cord to let the bus driver know when we wanted out. Of course, we fought over who would get to pull the cord. What made us think that particular task was so desirable?! Once we were off the bus, we'd start our downtown-day and do a lot of things.

We looked at the decorated windows at the May D&F store. They had several large display windows, and they decorated each one with a beautiful winter scene. It was even better when they had animated figurines in the windows! I remember one that had an ice skating pond and we'd stand and watch, fascinated, as the dolls made their rounds on the "ice."

We'd watch the real ice skaters at Zeckendorf Plaza. (Click on this link to see a picture of the May D&F store from the 1960's.) The Plaza was right next to the store, and they make ice in the plaza in winter and they'd have skates you could rent. We would stand there forever, leaning over the edge to see.

Woolworth's was a mandatory stop. That's where we'd usually end up buying the presents that we would give to our parents. We usually bought our mom some Desert Flower perfume, a Christmas pin, or some bath oil beads. For our dad, it was aftershave or a cheap tool of some sort.

Then we'd go down to the basement to the Woolworth's cafeteria, where we would have a lunch of a hamburger or some of their delicious cheese pizza. That was probably the first place I had

a hamburger served in a little red latticed plastic basket lined with tissue paper. That made it so special somehow.

We'd all cram into a booth or, sometimes if it was really busy, Grandma would just seat us at a table with some unsuspecting person who was taking a whole table to themselves. They usually didn't stick around long after we arrived, leaving the entire table to us.

At the end of the day, she'd herd us back onto the bus, and we'd fight again at who would get to pull the bus cord when we got to the stop by her home. 

Grandma Lovey! What a trooper. She took us every year. EVERY year.

Last year, my mom handed me a little May D&F box and wondered if it was something I'd like to have. Inside was one of the Christmas pins I had given her when I was a kid. It is just as sparkly and beautiful as I remember. I am such a sucker for sparkly things, especially emerald green ones. I'm a big sucker for green. So, this pin is perfect for me. Of course I wanted it!

I am so happy to have been able to wear it this year. Isn't it nice when old things are still around? (People included.)

I wish my Grandma Lovey was still here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

FEED YOUR FACE: Maple-glazed Pecan Tenderloin

Yummers! Christmas is fast approaching, and it's time to think of what to feed family and friends. So let's have at it.

Here is what you need:
2 pork tenderloin, a pound or so each
1 Tablespoon veggie oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup maple syrup (or maple syr-ple, as Kathi calls it)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons of your favorite bourbon (or mine!)
2 Tablespoons of stone-ground mustard
A shot glass (so the cook can have a little nip)

Sprinkle tenderloins with salt. Heat the oil and butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat until it's hot. Add the tenderloin gently, so you don't get burned. Cook them about 3 minutes or so on each side until they are browned. Once they are browned, turn off the burner.

Combine your syrup, mustard, and pecans in a small saucepan and bring that to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer (uncovered) for about 3 minutes or until it gets thick. Stir in the bourbon. (The cook could have a little nip at this time.)

Now, take the sauce and spread it over the tenderloin in the skillet. Place the skillet into your oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees).

Remove the tenderloin to a serving platter and tent with some aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes or so.

Slice and serve with the remaining sauce from the skillet.

The first time I had this as a child, at great grandmother's house, I was all excited because it had whiskey in it. 'Course, I thought that all alcohol was whiskey back then. I was feeling all grown up. She served it up with mashed potatoes, biscuits, homemade grape jelly, salad, and corn.

Years went by. One time I was up hunting deer and stopped by their house to say "hi" and see how they were doing. She had cooked the very same meal all these years later. 'Course, being older, I pigged out. I found out after I got back home that my Dad had called them from his farm in Arkansas. There he was in Arkansas, and here I was in Colorado, and we had just talked about this same meal.

Oh yeah. . . I came home with a nice fat little doe that season.

So, make some memories. Cook up a meal. And FEED YOUR FACE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I've been sick. And I've run here, and I've run there. I've tried to help family members from the other side of my family. It's been a time.

We have had car trouble. How hard can it be to fix a latch on the trunk of your car? We went to the store, bought groceries, popped the trunk open, placed the groceries in the trunk. We closed the trunk. . . WRONG! The trunk wouldn't latch. It was windy and cold out. I tried for 10 minutes to get the stupid thing to work. Even some choice words didn't help.

So, off to ACE Hardware across the parking lot to buy a bungie cord to hold the trunk lid down 'til we got home. Shouldn't be hard to attach the cord. WRONG! It took about 15 minutes for me to get the damn thing hooked. Then it still let the trunk lid open up just about all the way. I doubled it up. Tied knots in it. Tried to hook it to the bumper. Tried to hook it anywhere just to hold the trunk lid down.

I bought the shortest cord they had. I finally got it hooked and the lid stayed down. Only problem? My hand was stuck. So, I yanked my hand out and I think I left my glove and about half a pound of the skin from my hand with it.

Got home, unloaded the groceries. Put a BIG brick on the trunk to keep it closed over night. The next morning, we took it in to be fixed. Now, don't get me wrong. It was fixed. And he didn't charge us for it. But shouldn't it have taken him more than five minutes to fix it when I spent more than 45 minutes myself trying to fix it after we got home?

Smart alec kid.


Got Christmas lights up on the house. Got the Christmas tree up. But, all of the boxes and such are still lying around. (Queue up the Christmas music.)


It's still on. My friend Bob, is doing well. And I will still be finishing up what I set out to do. Things have been pretty much CRAZY here. I'm trying to get things done. But, never fear -- or, maybe you should! Get your eyewash ready. 'Cause, it's going to happen right after Christmas. IN ALL IT'S GLORY! (Or gory detail.) Purple thong and all. What a great way for all of you to be able to start your new year!


On a more somber note.

Our prayers go out to all of those who lost loved ones from the school shooting. We hope and pray that we will find our way. More gun control is not the answer. There are enough gun laws. Enforce the ones we now have.

And we need to take a really hard look at our mental health laws. And ways to help those with mental health issues.


And to all of my friends out there... Christmas is coming. It is time for good friends and good family to get together and share some Christmas cheer.  I'll be posting on some good eats over the next couple of days.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quote of the Week: 12/10/12 (a Kathi post)

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." 
~ Andy Rooney (1919-), American writer, producer, humorist

I am taking this seriously for the entire Christmas season. Jim got the Christmas stuff out of the rafters in the garage for me, and he set up our tree. I decorated the tree, but there is still a partial box of ornaments to consider. It's been sitting in the living room for two days, and it may be there a couple more.

My advice? Follow this all year round. A messy living room isn't the worst thing ever.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sorry, you get me again -- A Kathi Post

Jim is feeling horrible with a sinus infection. Yesterday, he barely moved from one spot. He's been having sinus "issues" for a couple weeks now. He worries about not having blog posts, but he does not feel well enough to do anything about it.

Please bear with him?

Thanks, all -- Kathi

Monday, December 3, 2012

Quote of the Week: 12/3/12

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
nor the arrow for its swiftness, 
nor the warrior for his glory.
I love only that which they defend.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers