Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ham Schpam

Do you love spiral ham?  I sure do. I love just about everything about it and today I noted the awesome gold metallic bag it came in.
Perhaps they've always packaged them in these beautiful bags but for some reason today it caught my attention. I love how they have "registered" this ham with an actual number. It sort of makes it an important ham, don't you think?
I normally only buy one ham a year and it is around this time. I don't have anything against ham but let's face it ... you buy a ham for two people and it doesn't take long to run out of ideas of how to cook it up to make it interesting. I don't think ham freezes very well so we suffer through eating it the whole week.  There will be grilled ham and cheese, ham & bean soup, cold ham sandwiches, ham & tomatoes with a little Pepper Jack cheese under the grill on a sourdough muffin, and perhaps even ham & cheese scones.
My hubby tries to stay away from processed meats but he was more than giddy when I produced this beautiful hunk of love. He could hardly wait for me to get a few slices on the pan to grill to go with the cornbread I had in the oven.
One of the many reasons I particularly love spiral ham is that it is pre-sliced into perfectly portioned slices and easy to get off the bone. I bought a small bag of 13-bean mixture from the bulk section and the bean soup is in the crock. I doubt we'll eat it all before the week is over but we'll try to not waste too much of it.
When I was a kid, mom made a lot of beans and ham. I got pretty tired of it and as an adult it has taken me a long time to come around to liking bean soup again. She had a way of letting those beans get awfully mushy by the time we were done eating a whole pot's worth of them and I have a little PTSD from that. 
While this is a lot to do about nothing, I wonder if you have a favorite spring-time food or memory that has become tradition? 

love, susan

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Hanky

It has been far too long since I sat down at my chair to write. I blame my new fancy, smart phone. Lots of fun stuff to play with. I hope I get over it sometime soon. I never wanted to be one of "those" people with a crook in their neck from staring at their phone too long.
This post is prompted by a conversation I had with Angie, my co-worker, who I spend a good portion of my day with answering phones and greeting people. We have had some lovely conversations about all kinds of things. But nothing has stirred me more emotionally than talking about handkerchiefs this week. I caught an old-fashioned cold on Sunday and was complaining about how raw my nose is getting from tissue. I made a remark about how I finally get why my grandma always used a real hanky. And that's how it started.
A couple years ago, while stopping in to see my aunt, she handed me a quart-sized ziploc bag that contains some old photos, a hand-written letter I had sent to grandma, two scarves and the beautiful pictured handkerchief that belonged to my grandmother. Grandma had died the year before and I did not attend her funeral. I hadn't really thought about her dying. I am the queen of denial. That's just how I roll.
I opened that ziploc bag the same day my aunt gave it to me and it was like letting a genie out of a bottle. Ugh. I couldn't stop crying so I stuffed all those things, including my feelings, neatly back into the bag, zipped it up and tucked it away into the drawer with the other things that cause me to cry.
Until today, I hadn't looked at that hanky or the photos since the day they were given to me.
Time really does heal wounds.
Today, I took those scarves out and wrapped them on my head, closed my eyes and tried to remember grandma wearing them. It occurs to me that she always had curlers on when she wrapped the scarves on her head. I don't know. It's been too long. Maybe she wore them around her neck. 
But oh, the handkerchief.  It is the most beautiful and I remember that she always had one in her purse.
I miss her terribly but today I didn't cry. I smiled and marveled about the chain of events that leads me everyday.  Thank you, Angie, for the conversations on a daily basis. If not for that, I don't know when I would have ever opened that ziploc bag.

love, susan

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goin' Old School

A post the other day garnered a comment: "kickin' it old school" and it got me to thinking about old school stuff. 
Yeah, I love packing up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for an old fashioned picnic. I miss those days with my kid when we would spend a Saturday afternoon at Alaskaland in Fairbanks. There's nothing more wonderful than getting in the car and forgetting about time & worries by going to the park and feeding the squirrels and birds, petting a few stray dogs and listening to kids laugh ... and then cry when mama says it's time to go. It also serves as a good way to avoid doing those ugly chores like laundry and picking up the dog poop.
I also love talking to my peeps on the phone. That's considered old school nowadays. Isn't that crazy?  My son has been calling me more often ... usually on Sundays ... and I'm really digging it. I know texting is a great way to relay information quickly but I especially love those friends and family who still take time to have a real, live conversation.  Don't you?
And how about letter writing? I have a friend I left behind in Arizona who surprises me with her "old school" notecards. I owe her one right now ... I should be writing it instead of this.
And oh, how about the old school Sunday drive?  When was the last time you went on one?  It's not really old school for us.  There is hardly a weekend goes by that we don't get in the car and drive somewhere. Sometimes only 40 or 50 miles, sometimes 300. We tend to solve the world's problems on Sundays. And truthfully, it's the best time for undivided attention to each other. And, packing a lunch to go along makes it more than old school.
So, how do you kick it old school?
love, susan

Friday, March 8, 2013


Oh brother, it's March 8th and I haven't even opened up a "March" photo file on my 'puter yet.

<----- This is my February squirrel.

I blame FB and my new smart phone.

I'm obsessed with the new phone ....

  and "Words for Friends" ....

  and FB ....

Note to self:  must put down the phone and live life.

Stay tuned ....

   it's gonna be a fabulous weekend.

On my list of things to do, not necessarily in this order:

Go to the antique show at the TRAC to visit my friend, Kristy's, space
Finish cleaning up that tree that fell in November
Take the dogs for a walk
Clean up the herb garden
Watch a movie

What are you doin' this weekend?

love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...