Pass the Smuckerâ€™s, please.
Thatâ€™s a frequent comment at the House of Hollenbeck because homemade jelly doesnâ€™t happen there.
Weâ€™re big fans of Smuckerâ€™s. We also have a close association with the folks at Bama and Welchâ€™s.
This past summer, during one of my visits to the Farmers Market (which I do love) at the Saline County Courthouse square, someone suggested that I purchase some fresh fruit and concoct some homemade jelly.
He might just as well has suggested that I build a 30-story building. This would be just as likely.
Except for St. Patrickâ€™s Day â€” which my Irish heritage tells me I must claim for my favorite holiday â€” my â€śnext favoriteâ€ť is Thanksgiving.
To me, itâ€™s a much better day than Christmas because itâ€™s about family and friends and food and fellowship and all good things in between. I donâ€™t feel pressured to have the perfect gift for everyone I know. I can just enjoy.
Still, if we get to the real reason for the season, Christmas should come first. Thatâ€™s a no-brainer. Itâ€™s the extraneous stuff and human-made pressure that has made that event hectic and difficult and expensive and exhausting.
There are people who donâ€™t like to read columns about the cute things kids say. If youâ€™re one of them and youâ€™re reading this, just move on down the road because this column will be about the cute things kids say. Iâ€™m one who relishes such gems of wisdom.
And some of those cute things will have been espoused by my grandchildren and those of others in my intimate acquaintance. Truth be told, the stuff said by youngsters may not be as enchanting to others as it is to kith and kin, but Iâ€™ve always liked kids â€” mine and other peopleâ€™s â€” so I enjoy all of it.
I always enjoy the visits from Halloween trick-or-treaters. Itâ€™s probably as much fun for me as it is for the children.
As a lifetime enthusiast of â€śletâ€™s pretend,â€ť I love seeing costumed youngsters taking on new characters.
The younger they are, the cuter they are. I could do without the adult visitors who apparently have a craving for sweets, but I donâ€™t turn anyone away. As long as the candy holds out and the beggars are there, I gladly distribute the sweet stuff.
I'll be honest with you. About this time last year I was concerned about the direction this paper was taking, so much so that I considered no longer writing my weekly column for it. The political rhetoric was, from my point of view, beyond what the general public considered interesting. I don't say this to cast aspersions toward the previous editor and/or publisher. I say them to set a new standard of this newspapers involvement in political campaigns. To clear the air, so to speak.
It doesn't matter what the election, voting with your emotions on your sleeve can be dangerous. Voter remorse sets in quickly and before you know it, the person or issue that you steadfastly supported are now the cause of that pain in your shoulders and other regions that can't be described in a local newspaper. We all have had the feeling before but sadly enough fail to recognize the signs when future ballots are placed in front of us.
Itâ€™s fast approaching the time of year when I cook.
I should clarify the statement.
We do eat at our household. We always have and more than likely we always will, but most of the time I â€śfixâ€ť things. I reserve cooking for people like my late mother; the Courierâ€™s Pat Stuckey, who can cater meals to feed army-sized settings at the same time sheâ€™s doing six other things; Gail Nickerson, our Grits & Grace lady; and others who know what theyâ€™re doing when they walk into the kitchen.
I can identify a spatula in a utensil lineup, but when you get into more complicated gadgets, Iâ€™m at a loss.
Living with pets presents unusual challenges at times.
Sometimes the challenges can be BIG, particularly if humans get involved and the humans donâ€™t happen to be on the friendly side of the animal.
Case in point: A flooring project done at our house a number of years ago.
The work entailed ripping up old carpet to replace it with a vinyl-like floor that looked like hardwood.
Everybody at the carpet store was wonderful in accommodating me in what I wanted.
There were no problems until the actual work started.
It's time to put the conspiracy theories, the rumors and half-truths, the innuendo and all the other distractions of the school board election away. On a near daily basis, these very same tidbits made their way through various channels to the ears of our citizens. Some of the recipients, not all, would accept these nuggets as fact, repeat them and never question what they had just heard.
The changing of the seasons are times in which I relish being alive, particularly when summer changes to fall. Gone are the days of sweltering heat, the discomfort of sweat and the buzzing of mosquitos. For those of us who live outside the city it also means a goodbye to the slithering of snakes that are often found out in the fields and patrolling the creek banks in search of field mice and frogs.