In My Kitchen ~ October 2015

Good things come in small packages (1)

In My Kitchen… is the sweetest lil’care package. My friend Jeanne Raffetto Tentis (a culinary instructor in Wisconsin and author of Queen Jeanne’s Cuisine) surprised me with this bundle of delights — an antique ramekin, snazzy kitchen towels, and a colorful array of tea light candles. Thank you, xo. Good things really do come in small packages!

Mexican vanilla

In My Kitchen… is a tiny bottle of Mexican vanilla that packs a BIG punch! The aroma is SO heady I’m tempted to unscrew the cap and take a whiff every time I walk by my pantry… ahhhh. (Mostly I save it for baking The Man Of Few Words goodies.) Hooray for cooler mornings! Below are a mini peach & blueberry cobbler (pie?) and a small batch of sugar cookies I made for that man o’ mine. I loooooove Autumn!!! (And obviously him.)

But, part of me wasn’t ready to give up Summer quite yet…

In My Kitchen… are these bold-colored bargains. The swizzle sticks (a parrot, palm tree, cactus, and an owl) are made from the most delicate glass — 25 cents for all four, yay! The beverage napkins were from the “dollar store” and the slice of lime in my ice water was in honor of Celia. ;) It’s fun to change up things In My Kitchen with a lil’ color and flavor — even plain ol’ water.

Speaking of color…

Color Scheme

In My Kitchen (next to it)… are paint swatches. These are the potential candidates for my Garden Room bench. Remember the vote? Tangerine won! (Now to figure out which shade of tangerine.) The colors are more vibrant than they appear (Oklahoma’s summery sunshine ‘n’ all) and their names are as appealing as their hues: Baby Carrot, Savory, Autumn Harvest…

To see other colorful, flavorful kitchen goodies (from small to large) ’round the world please visit Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. The links are in her sidebar.

Enjoying seasonal shifts and year-round friendships,

~ Kim

Comfort Zones

Comfort Zone

The first day of Autumn has come and gone and I’ve officially entered my Comfort Zone. “A place or situation where one feels safe and at ease without stress.” (Definition courtesy of Google.) I’d add: “An area within your soul that feels like you’ve finally come home… a sacred place that nurtures creativity.” 

Whenever I listen intently to my soul (particularly this time of year) that “still, small Voice” speaks volumes. It also guides me to some amazingly comforting, creative places.

My kitchen ranks right up there as a Comfort Zone, followed closely by my piano bench. (Sometimes it’s this trundle bed, courtesy of my sister.) Other days, Comfort wraps its loving arms around me in the passionate embrace of cooler nights and invigorating mornings. I feel wide awake. Rarin’ to go. Or, content to simply “be.”

Autumn isn’t a dying season to me — it’s full of renewed possibilities — and I need to (must) take advantage of it.

That said, I’ll be spending more time offline than on in the coming weeks as I renew and “regroup” — and possibly take a nap (or two or three) on that trundle bed. Ahhhh…

Where (or when) is your Comfort Zone?

Enjoying everything Autumn,

~ Kim

Something To Write Home About (II)

Letter writers are reporters for the newspaper of life. Columnists of the daily. Chroniclers of the ordinary. Copy editors of dreams.

That last point is perhaps best illustrated in a poem I read recently by j.i. kleinberg, author of the blog chocolate is a verb.

Please take a moment to immerse yourself in it.


“found poem” by j.i. kleinberg (used with permission)

As a life-long letter writer I was captivated by Judy’s succinct description… an explanation, if you will, of why I write letters. (Not that I need to explain myself, lol!) She nailed it and my gut reaction was YES. (I love it when someone unexpectedly defines a part of me that has heretofore been indescribable!) Thank you.

To me, this is what letter writing is about — revealing yourself line by line and sorting out life by the paragraph. (Personally… and preferably with a pen.) No backspace. No delete. Put it out there!

Letter-writing is a soul-baring business and the best letters are those filled with unabashed opinions and juicy thoughts — our true, unedited selves. Somehow, I think poets feel the same way about writing poems, xo.

Dangly Thingy

Fluid lines appeal to me (as does transparency) in letter-writing, poetry, and “dangly things.” (This one happens to grace my current writing space — aka ‘Garden Room’ — courtesy of my late sister.) I gave it to her after she crashed her Harley ten years ago (not her fault!) while she was convalescing in a nursing home for five months with casts up to her hips and shoulders — with a terrific attitude, I might add. It brightened her room, and now it brightens my life. (And I miss writing to her!)

For every letter, there’s a designated “receiver”– someone as willing to read your thoughts as you are eager to write them — whether they write back or not! FYI, I preface or ‘postlude’ many of my letters with an abject apology of sorts: “Don’t feel like you have to respond or keep up with me word-wise.” (Can’t help myself… it’s who I am.)

Letters are our indelible history in the making (if we don’t “tell,” who will?)… a mutual exchange of souls, and as so eloquently stated, “intimate art.”

Long live poets and letter-writers!

Enjoying a lil’ soul-baring,

~ Kim

Out of the Shadows


I’ve been living in the shadows lately… partially defined, somewhat indistinct… and mostly due to Oklahoma’s meteorological mayhem since we moved into our house — never mind an unprecedented case of “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and wonky Do Over circumstances. (I thought Minnesota’s weather wreaked havoc on my psyche!) Sheesh.

Frequently unannounced absences from this space (due to life and whatnot) have also contributed to my lack of continuity and well-being. I started “this” for the express purpose of “expressing myself” (four-odd years ago) and when I don’t write regularly, I feel it down to my toes… or act like the cloud pictured above.

I’ve also been missing “playing” in my comment section. I’m a responder! When I don’t respond, I feel awful. (I imagine you do, too.) Thank you for your comment just doesn’t do it for me, and not replying to your comments does me in completely! I promise to be a lil’ more interactive from now on, xo.

Speaking of Minnesota… I just returned from a 17 day sojourn there, mostly spent with my Mom who recently turned 80 — can you say surprise party? ;) Mom has no internet. (Can you say cranky?) Thank goodness The Man Of Few Words has weathered More.Than.One of my artistic temperamental storms and knows that hugs cure my ills. I’m positive for the most part, but I have my moments.

And, speaking of The Man of Few Words… today is the first day he hasn’t been somewhere in the house (new or temporary) in over eight months. (!) I love that man to pieces, but sometimes a girl’s gotta have a lil’ breathing room — even though he provides plenty of “room” with his quiet countenance. (No offense to retirees, folks with disabilities and/or illness, or who stay home together by choice — good for you!) TMOFW started a new job today and I feel like Queen For A Day. ‘Nuff said.

Anyhoo, I’m amazed (or taken aback) at how seldom I’ve asserted myself here during these past months considering how much I love to write. (And how cathartic it is.) It’s not that I don’t want to; it’s just that I don’t know how to say what’s on my mind sometimes. (Either that, or I’m plain ol’ wimpy… or sparing you from a bunch of indistinct whining.) Call it post traumatic stress syndrome, coping, or whatever (!), I’ve been peeking at life (including yours) more than participating and I don’t like it. Definitely not moi!

(At least I’m definite about something…)

Thankfully shadows are created by light, and that’s what I’ve chosen to focus on during these tentative, tumultuous months — silver linings and all that. With light, ordinary every day objects transform into art… plus they make me smile.

On a personal basis, I’ve been redefining what I want out of life and honing my edges, which isn’t easy for a “soft” person like me. I’d much rather float along with the status quo and avoid decision-making, confrontation, opinion-stating, (and/or social media) unless I absolutely have to — yet I know full well that honest communication is a two-way street and it involves speaking my mind (and listening to yours) so we can both say “what we think.”

(Sometimes I think too much.)

Otherwise, how can anyone know what I — or you — feel? Bring it on!

Wall Flower

“There you are… don’t be shy.”

I’m finally out of the shadows.

In the light at long last.

Living my life and looking forward to celebrating yours!

Enjoying better-late-than-never illuminations,

~ Kim

Musical Chairs

Lyrical Chairs

You don’t get to be my age and cultivate a sense of contentment by hanging onto things, but every once in awhile I miss my chairs.

They were a part of my life. Part of me.

I even dressed them up on occasion. ;)

Deck the halls... and chairs

Then along came my friend Marla for an impromptu “Girls Day” gathering at my house — with a surprise in tow.

Marla is a piano player. A dear friend. Someone who “gets” me.

Lookie what she brought!

The Chair

A friend of hers was clearing out some things when Marla spied “The Chair” and asked what she was going to do with it. In a moment of generosity, this cast off went from “throw-away” to “give-away.” I’ve been doubly blessed by generous hearts.

Despite the fact that it has no seat (that’s on The Man Of Few Words’ honey-do list) this gem is rife with possibilities. What color fabric? What kind of cushion? As I search for the “right” ones in the coming months, not only will I be merging past with present, I’ll be forging ahead. What an extraordinary gift… the sense of “connection” and promise.

Truly, I’m not defined by “stuff,” but I do recognize the value in treasures… and this chair is definitely one of them. So is my friend. xo

Enjoying an unexpected piece of my past,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ June 2015

In My Kitchen… are a bounty of blessings, but rather than describe each one at length, I’m deferring to a brief summary:

Colorful, appetite-appeasing, and soul-satisfying — especially the spices!

I’m so thankful to have a variety again.

In My Kitchen… is the cutest lil’ mortar and pestle.

I hope to have a large one someday, but for now it does the trick.

I’m prone to mix and mingle. :)

In My Kitchen… (or adjacent to it) is the ideal spot for growing herbs indoors.

Technically it’s a breakfast nook, but I’m not much of a breakfast eater so I renamed it “The Garden Room.”

I will be eating my way through these…

Things are coming along nicely!

I was thinking of painting the board on the bench a gorgeous tangerine or sunny yellow… what do you think?

For more delightful descriptions and a plethora of fascinating gadgets, please visit Celia at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial where you can peruse kitchen goodies from around the world — and add your own, if you wish.

Enjoying a more flavorful life in my kitchen,

~ Kim

How High Is The Water, Mama? (Rhapsody in Blue VII)

Old Boy contemplates a cloud

Old Boy (my Great Blue Heron friend) usually sits in the “driftwood tree” farther out in the lake. Remember? 

These days he’s roosting elsewhere and I can’t blame him.

The tips of the branches you see in the photo below are the top of that tree after two weeks’ worth of rain… with another weeks’ worth of thunderstorms in the forecast.

High water

That’s a lot of water!

(Or, as they say around here: a “Lotawatah.”)

There’s a road by that name not far from here — for good reason.

High water 1

This photo is more “brown” than “blue” but you get the idea…

A neighbor called to check on the flooding by his cabin. (This is the photo I sent in reply.) Somehow it reminded me of Johnny Cash’s song, “Five Feet High and Rising.”

How high is the water, Mama? Two feet high and risin’… three feet high and risin’… four feet high and risin’ — and on it goes. Whether or not you’re a Johnny Cash fan, The Man In Black wrote real-life lyrics (even though his song pertained to flooding in next-door Arkansas at the time.) Yup… that’s our “real life” at present.

According to the Army Corp of Engineers — the efficient folks letting out the deluge day by day at the dam 15 miles east of here (yes, our lake is THAT big!) — Lake Eufaula is hovering around 598 feet… 13 feet above “normal.”

Disappearing driftwood tree

Generally there’s a 15 foot “drop” between the lake and our “lakeshore”

It’s comforting to know that the ol’ Lightning Tree has witnessed this before — and oh, how I love looking at things from a tree’s perspective! There’s less chaos and more calm about the rising water level when witnessed by a stalwart soul — merely a phenomenon to note (despite the waves crashing ashore on windy days) — ho hum, been there, done that. Que Sera Sera.

Thankfully we live farther up “the hill” and are safe and well, other than the occasional water moccasin (aka poisonous “cotton mouth” snake) in search of a place to sun themselves. Can’t blame them either! Their habitat is in more danger than ours.

Please pray for our friends and neighbors (vertebrates and invertebrates alike) living in the low-lying areas. We may be treading carefully these days, but at least we aren’t treading water!

Enjoying “life on the lake” in spite of things,

~ Kim