a loving touch …

October 26, 2011

A friend recently mentioned that her husband was always asking her to scratch his back, and she got tired of it so she bought him a back scratcher.

It was just an off-hand comment so we really didn’t discuss it, but I’ve thought about that conversation since then and wish I had told her about my extensive experience with back scratching.

There are definitely two kinds of back scratching — when the back itches — and as a loving touch.

I don’t remember why I started this practice, but I have used back scratching as a loving touch for my family for a long time.  DD has told me that she fondly remembers me coming into her room to wake her up when she was a little girl and scratching her back as I told her it was time to get up.

And I’ve continued that practice.  If one of my loved ones is sitting near me, or a small one is on my lap, I will just give them a little back scratch.  The response is always a positive one — from a loud “ahhhhh” to just a simple sigh — and almost always followed by a thank you.  And with Hubby, unsolicited back scratches for him are a long-time habit, which he always says he appreciates.  But, by the way, if his back really itches he has a back scratcher.

So my advice is that when a loved one asks you to scratch their back, if it is because it really itches, hand them a back scratcher.  But, if it’s possible it’s really a request for a loving touch, take the time to give it.

I like it that when I am gone, one of the memories my grandchildren might have of me is as a great back scratcher!

Want to be entertained? Hire the elderly!

October 18, 2011

One of the great things about Facebook is that I have reconnected with quite a few people from high school.  And this time “Chuck” and one of his commenters gave me a laugh that I just had to share:

Chuck has always been quite the talker (as I remember he was on the debate team in high school) — a very interesting person — and I can totally picture this happening to him.

Chuck posted:

“SO…we are sitting in the noisy German restaurant at EPCOT — family style. The couple next to us say they live in Palm Harbor, but are really Dutch. I talked for 5 minutes about my trips to Holland (visitng Corinne, Mark, and Mariek) and my good friends there.

“Then we go through the buffet line.  During lunch, I started talking about the historic district and the great museums in Amsterdam, and the guy casually mentions, ‘We are Oregon DUCKS — not Dutch.'”

“I felt a bit silly, but laughed out loud. They had no clue why!”

Chuck’s commenter put the “frosting on the cake”:

“You must be discovering that people are very understanding of the elderly!”


October 13, 2011

When Japan had their terrible earthquake, I heard that it actually caused the Earth to shift on its axis.

Since then we have had all kinds of crazy weather all over the world, which seemed to me to be possibly proof of that shift.

But I think some recent developments have proved conclusively that the world is undeniably off-kilter:

Five weeks into the NFL season, the Detroit Lions are unbeaten and the Indianapolis Colts are winless.

I rest my case.

a fun twist on the day

October 10, 2011

On my way to the gym one recent morning I stopped by the church to drop off some items for their food bank.  But as I was leaving I walked past the fellowship hall and happened to see a group of women gathering around a quilt in a frame.  This must be the quilting circle which I had always heard about but had never seen — and I realized I knew most of them but I had no idea they were a part of that group.

So I went in for a minute to say hello and admire the quilt they were working on.  But one thing led to another and I ended up staying for the rest of the morning to see if I could remember how to quilt.  The women were great at making interesting conversation without ever missing a stitch and I really enjoyed working on the quilt with them.

A fun twist to an otherwise routine day with a group of talented, friendly quilters and a chance to try my hand, many, many years after my last attempt at quilting, at something unexpectedly fun.

I’m going to go back, but I’m going to practice first. Those tiny little stitches are just as hard as I remembered.

What a Crock(pot)!

October 4, 2011

In 1974 I started at the major truck manufacturer as a secretary.  That first Christmas, Bob my boss asked Hubby what he could get me for Christmas.  His question surprised Hubby (I’d never received a gift from a boss before, but it was common at my new company) and Hubby said the first thing that came to mind, “Well, she’s said she would like to have one of those new slow cookers.”

So, I got a kind of unusual gift from a boss that year:

But even if it wasn’t a typical gift from a boss, he couldn’t have given me one that I would enjoy more over the years. This slow cooker has been one of the most valuable tools in my kitchen and is still going strong.

A few years ago I did buy one of the new big, oval slow cookers, but this is still my faithful back-up.

When I was going to make a big batch of chili a couple days ago as well a the frankies I talked about in my last post, I served the chili in the new cooker and the frankies in this one.

Granted the brown plaid design on this cooker kind of dates it but, “Pretty is as pretty does,”  so this old girl is still pretty to me.

Frankly, I love Frankies!

October 3, 2011

I recently made a recipe for a casual party that I hadn’t made in a long, long time — frankies, which are hot dogs cooked in a sauce of tomato sauce, onions, green peppers, garlic and chili powder.

I wondered if they would taste as good as I remembered from my childhood and it was a pleasant surprise that they did.  So, here’s the recipe, in case you would like to try them.


Prick 8 hot dogs all over with a fork and put them in the bottom of a heavy pan.  Add at least 16 oz. of tomato sauce, a chopped green pepper, a chopped onion, a minced clove of garlic (I used 1 T. from the jar) and 1 T. of chili powder.

Cook slowly so that all the flavors will blend into the sauce and until the sauce has thickened and the hot dogs are cooked.  Serve hot dogs in buns and cover with sauce.

I cut the hot dogs and buns in half because there were going to be quite a few children at the party and it would make them easier to handle. But it actually made it easier for everyone because they are a little messy, so I’ll probably do that from now on.  (Because I DO plan to make these again, now that I’ve rediscovered them.)

However, next time I make these Hubby has suggested that I try Italian sausages instead of hot dogs.  He frequently enjoys an Italian sausage sandwich at the golf course and he thinks the sauce is this same recipe.

And, of course, I’ll gladly try it because my cooking motto is, “No recipe is too good to be tinkered with”.  Just ask my friend, Linda about the perfect-just-as-written soup recipe she once gave me. 🙂