Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Monday, January 30, 2006

Spring Is on the Way!

I went out into the yard yesterday because we'd had a huge wind the night before and I wanted to see if any damage had been done. There were some twigs and branches down, but nothing too bad. But I noticed, in hurrying back to the back door, that some daffodils had broken though by the forsythia bush in the front yard. Husband was sleeping (afternoon naps on Sunday are excusable), so I didn't tell him my news until breakfast this morning.

After he left on this garbage run this morning, I put on my cape and hat and went out to take a look around. Indeed, daffodils are up! As I made a determined round of the yard, I found the hope I was looking for. There is a cluster of dwarf crocuses in front of an outcropping of rock on our front bank. There, nestled right where they were planted, were three yellow crocuses.

I went on to find my two patches of daffodils and tulips in the new garden on the other side of the driveway. Daylillies and iris are coming up through mulch, and the foxglove, snapdragons and dianthus that were new last year have overwintered.

Take heart! There will be spring.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Comfort Food

I don't cook much. People around me have complicated recipes and are proud of the food they produce. My daughter can make a chocolate cake that will make you cry. My husband has an apple bread that people rave about. His chili is great, even if it's a little brilliant.

I make macaroni and cheese.

It's easy, uncomplicated; I figured it out for myself. It sticks to the ribs, is a great platform for ketchup. It's cheap.

There are times when nothing will do but turkey and dressing, or steak and baked potatoes. A submarine with all the fixings can make my day. But when I really need to feed my soul, I get out the casserole and whip up some macaroni and cheese.

I let anyone else around have as much as he wants, but the leftovers are mine. I reheat them for lunch and pour on the ketchup. (I like Heinz when I can get it, but store-brand will do.) I can have a smile on my face for three days!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Some Things I Wonder About

In the last thirty or so years, food products have had nutritional information on whatever space they can spare. It's taken a while for it to be codified and explained and made useful to the public -- or to me, at least.

But does it really make sense?

The other day, I decided to see how many little crackers they were talking about in a "serving." We have some very small bowls we use for neatness sake (yeah, right), so a grabbed up a handful that I thought was what I wanted, and counted them into the bowl. There were twelve crackers. Number thirteen was made up of parts of three crackers -- but broken crackers and cookies don't have as many calories, do they? Some of them fall out in the process of breaking up.

But the box said that a serving was sixteen. So I put three more crackers in the bowl. You know what? When I got to that last three, I really didn't want them. Ate them anyway.

But aren't nutritional facts on some packages a waste of time. They are on candy, of all things! Ketchup. Barbeque sauce. Pickles. Popcorn. Ice cream.

If you're eating that stuff, you don't really care about calories and protein and carbs, do you?

If your sweetie gives you a heart-shaped box of chocolates, are you going to eat only a Recommended Daily Serving? Heck, no! And your sweetie better not get between you and the dark chocolate!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Special Monday Social Schedule

Had a nice surprise this morning! I was just debating with myself about my costume for the day when Husband announced that we would be going shopping -- to the Dollar General Store. That's a definite change to the weekly schedule. Monday is wash day, of course, with few variations.

To my surprise, as we were going through the store, Husband took an item from a hook in the housewares area and threw it into the cart. "Ironing board cover," he said.

I looked at it and looked at the ones left on the hook. I admired his taste -- it went with the decor of the dining room.

We were checking out when our neighbor Chris came into the store to stock the Fritos and Doritos. So having a few minutes to chat with him was an added bonus, really making the trek in the truck worth the effort.

See, when you get to a certain age, it doesn't take much to make your day. Pairing all the socks can be a high point!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's Still Winter, After All

It's been a nice day, sunny, with temps in the low 60's even though with the wind it doesn't feel that warm. I took a short tour around the yard, picking up twigs that have broken off the trees, but I came in pretty quickly. It is January, you know.

I was working around the kitchen when I heard a familiar but out-of-place sound. (Okay, so when I'm in the kitchen, it doesn't take much to distract me.) It sounded like -- like -- a lawnmower starting up. And not starting up, if you know what I mean.

I looked out the door (past the Santa banner that hasn't been taken down yet) and there was Husband out by the shed, trying to start the lawnmower. Thank heaven, it knew better! But husband didn't. He worked on it for a long time, fiddling. Last summer, the blade got bent. (I swear I had nothing to do with it!) And it is still bent and not operable. Husband thinks he can bang it back into shape, but the housing of the machine says something else.

This issue only went on for about an hour. The lawnmower won -- it's back in the shed. The grass is still sleeping. Husband is now snoring. He had a very difficult afternoon.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

In Stitches

We have a neighbor who is a fairly recent widower. My husband spends a lot of time with him, which is hard to understand, but I guess it's all right. I've found that the only sure way to deal with this character is to out-boss him, but as I said, he is a widower and probably needs a little more outside guidance than he used to.

Anyway, he sends me his new jeans and pants to shorten. It's hard to find his waist size and leg length in the same garment. Maybe you know the drill -- buy the pants by the waist measurement and find someone to hack them off.

He sent over two pair of pants last week; they were probably Christmas present. I'm glad for the work as it gets me all the way across the dining room to my sewing machine, and the change of scenery is good for me. My machine does some neat things, such as an overedge stitch and a blind hem. These pants didn't need the blind hem -- why waste that on the jeans and cargo pants. And I did the hem on the jeans with straight stitching, because that is what they had in the first place.

I was puzzling over the second pair of pants, the cargos, when Husband came home from having coffee with the neighbor. If I cut the bottom of the pants at the hem, I might run out of fabric to make the pants the exact length. (Not that it would matter, because the neighbor isn't that particular how he looks, or he wouldn't be so laterally endowed.) Husband advised to just do what was easiest. So I did.

Husband took them across the street and came back with a $5 bill. I could have saved myself some fretting, huh, just by doing what was easiest? From now on, that's how I'll tackle the job. But the guy has, by now, twenty-nine pairs of pants. At his age, I don't think he'll need a lot more shortened!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Twenty-five Years Ago Today...

On January 2, 1981, I became a serious romance writer. Serious about writing a book, finishing it, and marketing it. It was a New Year's Resolution. I had an electrical typewriter, a course of creative writing under my belt and forty years of daydreaming to work with -- and three kids expecting me to "do something" with my life.

I turned out two-and-a-half books of forgettable prose before I turned to what I knew. BUILDING PASSION was sold to Harlequin American in May of '82, much to everyone's surprise.

BUILDING PASSION will be coming out, not in '07 as I expected, but as of this past weekend it has been moved up to June 20, 2006!

Today is another day to put resolutions into action. Were it not for an electrical storm early this morning, I may well have gotten up at 5 AM like I did 25 years ago and gotten to work. But I've realized that it's not the number of hours I put into my writing that makes it succeed, but the craft and heart.

So today I'm starting another book. If it goes to contract, it will be my twelth. I was a serious writer of light books; today I start being a serious writer of serious books.