Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mom’s pumpkin pie

recipe pumpkin pie[8]

My mother made the best pumpkin pie I ever tasted.

It was mellow, flavorful and not overly nutmeggy as lots of pumpkin pies turn out.

Happily, she left us the recipe and Maria has been able to replicate it perfectly on several occasions.

So here, as a Thanksgiving gift to everyone who checks in here from time to time, is Mom’s pumpkin pie recipe.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Finally, something that works!


I’ve been drinking a few ounces of warm milk with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey before bed nightly for the past two months and am sleeping better than I have for years.

I’ve know for a long time that cinnamon is great for diabetes and a bunch of other conditions. I even bought a big bottle of cinnamon capsules a couple of years ago, but never used them regularly.

Since I’ve been following the nighttime regimen of milk, honey and cinnamon, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night with acid reflux or an upset stomach. The result is deeper, more restful sleep and more energy throughout the day.

I bought this big 5 pound bottle of honey at Sam’s Club back in late September. By last week, the remaining honey had crystallized to the point where I couldn’t pour it. Happily, I ran into a guy who was selling Mid-South honey from northern Mississippi at the grand opening of the Kroger Marketplace in Jonesboro last Wednesday and asked him if there was a way to get the honey back into a pourable solution.

His answer: bring a large pot of water to a boil, remove it from the heat and put the bottle of crystallized honey into the water until the honey returns to a liquid state. I did it and it worked like a charm.

Incidentally, he suffers from the same digestive problems that I have and was excited to try the honey, cinnamon and milk remedy. I came away thinking that conversation was probably the reason I was drawn to Kroger that morning.

Here’s the site that inspired me to try honey and cinnamon:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gone 17 years


This is one of my favorite photos of my father – a candid shot of him walking on the courthouse square in Delphi, Ind., headed for his office on a sunny weekday morning in the early 1940s.

Charles M. Flora would have been in his early 30s at the time, married since 1939 and living at 609 E. Franklin Street with his bride, Eileen. They were childless – I was born in July, 1945 and I believe my mother miscarried a baby girl before I was born.

This photo is appropriate today because my dad left this world on this date in 1997 at the age of 87. His last few years were spent in ill health and in a nursing home and he hated it.

My mom was called to the nursing home when he died and swore he stuck his tongue out at her when she went into his room. The facts argue against that, but I prefer to believe mom because that was something dad would have done.

There hasn’t been a day in the past 17 years that I haven’t thought about my father and wished I could share a thought or experience with him.

Mom adored him and only lasted a little shy of three years without him.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

51 years ago today

JFKI was a freshman at what was then Indiana State College (now Indiana State University) 51 years ago today.

I’d just had lunch in the Gillum-Sandison Hall dining room when I walked into the Gillum lounge and found a crowd of guys glued to the black-and-white console TV.

The news from Dallas was grim and we learned minutes later that President John F. Kennedy was dead.

I was a Kennedy Democrat at the time and thought of JFK as my president. So the news of his death was like a body blow.

Nobody knew what to do or say. Classes were cancelled and we all just wandered around like – well, to use an overworked word – zombies. The local rock and roll station, WBOW played funereal music all evening.

I ended up driving to Washington, D.C. with five other students. We drove all night and crashed at the University of Maryland Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity house.

We were somewhere in Maryland, approaching Washington, when we learned Jack Ruby had gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald. Reed McCormick, whose parents’ car we used, was an ATO active and I was a couple of weeks away from becoming an ATO pledge at the time, which got out couch space in the ATO house lounge.

We stood in a chilly line all the next night to file past the casket in the Capitol Rotunda and stood along the funeral procession route the next morning. It was a surreal experience. I had a cheap little box camera with me and got a few shots of the funeral procession, including the caisson and the horse Black Jack, with the boots backward in the stirrups.

That's me on the left, then Reed McCormick and then Steve Dolbow. Reed died of a heart attack in his Arizona home two years ago last April. Steve lives across Chesapeake Bay from the Capital in Easton, Md.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Yeah, it’s unconstitutional. What else is new?

Obama - Peeing on USI didn’t watch any TV news last night and I certainly didn’t waste any time watching Obama sanctioning illegal immigration on the basis of faux compassion.

We all know the whole point of the exercise is to damage America and create more Democrat voters.

And I’m doing my level best to stay away from the outrage being expressed this morning.

We knew this was coming. The guy has always hated people like us and the America we love. He told us all we need to know about him with his offhand remark about people bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jack has been with us for three years

Three years ago today, Maria and I drove to Carthage, Mo. and the Briarbrooks Kennels where we chose Jack as our new puppy.
This video was made three days later when he was exactly 12 weeks old.
Jack comes from a long line of AKC champions and grand champions on both sides of his lineage. His forebears include two grandfathers who were Best of Breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
You probably can't see it in this video, but his posture and carriage are impeccable and he has a wonderful "fancy pageant walk," as we call it.
We waited about two years to file the AKC registration papers because we couldn't decide on a proper AKC registration name. I initially favored Jumpin' Jack Flash, but Maria vetoed it because it has Satanic connotations.
After watching his kind and nurturing behavior around little Dora, we settled on Briarbrooks Gentleman Jack Flora.
I'm glad we waited for the name.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Indianapolis-style grocery shopping comes to Jonesboro


Morgan helped to represent the Jonesboro Public Library last night at the pre-opening preview of the new Kroger Marketplace and came home raving about the amazing range of products and features.

The store opened for business at 8 a.m. today. There was a promise of generous gift certificates for the first 100 shoppers. I thought about going for it, but decided there would probably be more than 100 hard-core shoppers who got there insanely early.

That said, I arrived about 8:10 a.m., so I was present during the first hour of operation.

It may seem mundane to most people, but this state-of-the-art Kroger supermarket is a very big deal for northeast Arkansas. As of this morning, Kroger dominates a local grocery market they previously shared with Bill’s Fresh Market, Harp’s, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Hays, Cash Saver, etc. This has to be a Maalox moment for the folks planning to open an Aldi supermarket a few blocks south of the new Kroger Marketplace.

newkroger05The place was crawling with Kroger employees eager to hand out maps of the store and guide you to whatever you wanted.

My first quest was for Kefir, a probiotic yogurt-like drink that occasionally appeared in the specialty dairy case at the old Kroger.

I tried the regular dairy section first, then asked a couple of Kroger guys in suits about it. They blinked like deer in the headlights, being unfamiliar with the product, and sent me off in the general direction of the specialty dairy case.

A helpful Kroger lady led me the last few yards to a plentiful supply of Kefir.

newkroger01I noticed there was a whole aisle full of heavily discounted weekly specials – this week aimed at Thanksgiving with cranberry stuff, nutmeg, sugar, yams, chicken broth, etc.

newkroger03The Deli section is impressive, with a salad bar, sushi, and an amazing olive bar.

newkroger02There’s even a smallish section of products commonly available in European markets, but rarely seen here, including Heinz Spotted Dick, a pudding that is popular in Britain.

There were free samples galore and I ended up buying $66 worth of stuff, including a $14.99 meat and cheese tray for Maria’s office.

And on my way out the door, a guy thrust a free package of Thomas’ English Muffins into my hands.

The new Kroger Marketplace has all of the essential elements of the Meijer and Marsh stores we have sorely missed since we moved here from Indiana. It almost feels like going home.

The only thing missing is beer and wine. The huge section occupied by bottled water makes me think they were ready to offer adult beverages if the statewide alcohol sales measure had succeeded in the election earlier this month.

I'm so happy Sean found this place

Keep watching after the first clip ends for more glimpses of Sean, his Rock & Roll Bed & Breakfast and, of course, his sweet pittie Honey Pie.