Couldn’t get it off my mind, so I made some!

A quick conversation with my buddy Bill in Boston about Cioppino. Cioppino is an Italian Seafood Soup, and one of my favorites things to eat. So Bill wants to know how it’s made, and how he thinks that he could make it with Marinara sauce.

I had to look into this theory, as I thought he was off his rocker. I was right. Nice try Bill, I couldn’t find any recipe that used a jar marinara sauce in their soup. Not sure if I would trust it if I did find one.

Cioppino is not a difficult thing to make. The more I looked at different recipes, the more I wanted to make it. Next thing I know I’m at the grocery store and staring at the clams and mussels. Darn you Bill, you got me thinking, and I wasn’t satisfied until I had made my own batch.

From all recipes I looked at, I liked Giada De Laurentis’ best. She uses fennel bulb, and lots of white wine, and a big can of diced tomatoes. It took less than an hour to prep and make. I think I spent more time scrubbing the clams and mussels than anything else.

It was light, and fragrant. It had big fresh flavor, and a slight heat from red pepper flakes. Add a piece of French bread, and no one spoke, we just slurped our soup and munched our bread, and laughed at each other as we pulled the mussel shells out and used them as makeshift spoons.

It was a fun meal, unexpected, and different from what we usually have on a Monday night.

Have we become unfeeling?

A client of mine, a credit union, had a closer. She had been with the company for over 10 years. She died in December, unexpectedly, in her sleep.

We were alerted to the situation, as the closer had worked for us as well.

We sent flowers, and I called the production manager to see how her team was holding up. Lisa’s death was out of the blue, she was only a couple years older than me, and not in poor health. When I expressed my sympathy and asked how they were doing, I was a little amazed at her answer. She was quite irritated. Several of her staff were too shaken up to finish the day of work, and she was not happy. “We have a business to run! Now I’ve got to find a closer, and everyone wants to go home and cry.”

That wasn’t the response I thought I’d find. The manager was not interested in sympathy, she wanted to get her loans out.

The death of her coworker, colleague, elicited no sadness at that moment.

Now, I don’t know if she was in shock or grief when I got ahold of her, or if she was any different later on.

It was just a sad reminder that for so many companies, “the show must go on”.

We can be replaced. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a part of something. We will be replaced once we are gone.

Our lives are so short, and when they are done, the people remaining must go on. They don’t stop living. The community doesn’t stop functioning.

But must we “go on” so quickly? Isn’t there some decency out there that says “the life we just lost was important enough to pause and grieve?”

Do we have to be such slaves to production that we are irritated at the death of a coworker?

It just makes me sad.

Are you YOLD?

I read this article, and got a fabulous giggle out of it.

Have you met a YOLD person? I’ve known several over my lifetime. My mother-in-law being one of them. She joined a Polka group when she retired at 72 from Budweiser. Until her mid 80’s she traveled with the group dancing at retirement homes. She served as a Eucharist Minister for her church, serving communion at the hospitals in her home town. She’s 93 now, and in her final days. But I can’t think of her without thinking or her zest for life, her large group of friends, and how she served her community.

This article talked about the rise in the baby boomer retirement numbers since 2000 when the first of the boomers started to retire. I like to think about the 2020’s being their (my) decade. I’m at the very tail end of that generation if you take the 1946-1964 number, as many do to define the Baby Boom generation.

My favorite YOLD person is Betty White. She’s not a baby boomer, but she defines YOLD to me.

As I creep forward toward 60, I’m kinda excited about the freedom, the opportunity, and all the great things that this new decade will bring.

Who is your favorite YOLD person?

Some gratitude on a Sunday

Today I’m infinitely grateful for the perfect quote to appear in my Pinterest feed.

I’m grateful for the new year.

I’m grateful for my pups.

I’m grateful for the YouTube videos that helped me learn how to edit the videos I got back from the Legacy box.

I have no goals for 2020, no grand plans, nothing.

What 2020 will bring is a mystery. I’m praying for the health and happiness of my friends and family.


Yesterday was one of those days. Things to do, clean up for the garbage pick up this morning. Lunches to pack for work this week.

What to do with the Ham Bone and left-over Ham from Christmas dinner?

Truth be told, the cheap spiral cut ham, that we put on the smoker was way better received than the prime rib we served.

The grill dominated this year. I had wrapped carrots in bacon, and glazed them with the honey glaze. They smoked and got happy next to the Ham. And they were the two favorite and remarked on items at dinner.

So as leftovers went, we did beans and the ham bone, and the one bacon wrapped carrot, some celery and onions. A little beer didn’t hurt. The fresh cilantro took it over the top. It didn’t hurt that my market carries local harvest frozen crowder peas and pinto beans. I kept wondering if 6 pounds of beans was too much. But 6 pounds were perfect.

The cornbread was just the kicker that made the beans so comforting.

Heading into 2020

The Christmas is done

The family has gone home

We are quietly eating leftovers

Pretty happy to be alone

The packages are given

The thank you’s received

The tree looks a little tired

My husband looks a little peeved

So let’s call a time out–A day just to breath

Momma’s putting her feet up. The puppy’s asleep

Dad’s got the blankets

Just the break that we need

Hope everyone had a fabulous Holiday. Now take a nap.

Little Rock, a journey

A day trip to Little Rock. Or more like a pre-sunrise to post sunset–dark to dark trip to Little Rock.

A very special client visit. Lunch at the historic One Eleven at the Capital Hotel.

A Christmas tree that was sooo tall, I couldn’t get the whole thing in the picture. It was spectacular.

Pats on the back from the retired partner at our firm.

A glass of wine to celebrate a job well done.

Now, I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my plane to take me home.

Families are gathered for their holiday travel. People watching is optimum. I especially like the little girls in their sparkly Ugg boots, and red sweaters.

It’s Christmas time, and families are making their efforts to get together.

Wherever you are, I hope you are safe, warm, and with someone you care about.

Can’t wait to get home.

Holiday Spirit

It’s 10 days till Christmas, and I’m not sorry to admit that the Season has left me a little flat.

I’ve started to decorate today. I got my SANTA Clauses out to decorate the mantle. I’m happy with myself that I made a little effort.

A tree might be too much temptation for Max. And I just don’t feel like getting everything down from the attic.

The stockings are hung by the Chimney with care. That’s about it. That’s enough for now, we will see what tomorrow brings.

The presents for my Niece and Nephew, Brother and Sister in law went out in the post last Thursday.

I’ve attended a Cookie exchange and got hopped up on Sugar and Champagne.

I’ve got one more client luncheon to go to on Thursday. My oldest comes in on Friday, and we’ll start the birthday celebrations for my mother in law and husband.

My forced smile makes my face shake.

And it’s all OK.

I think it will be just fine to take the boys shopping for their gifts. We will make something fun here on Christmas for just us. Or maybe we will just go see a movie.

We’ve not had a “just us” Christmas in quite a long time.

Where ever you are, and whatever you are doing, be it a Big Christmas, or a quiet Season, enjoy. Let it be authentic to you. It’s all OK.