Archives for October 2012

Wanting What You Don’t Have

I love my bathtub.  It’s everything I could want in a bathing experience.  Why?  I planned it that way, and Sanctuary Homes perfectly built it.  It’s a long, deep tub – long enough for me to slip under the water.  No jets or whirls.  A full tub of hot water with a cup of espom salts and a good squirt of Seven Wonders Oil, a dark room except for the warm glow from lit lavender candles, a cool glass of iced water and dreamy piano music playing makes for a most relaxing soak.  An experience I dreamed of for years.

You see, for sixteen years I didn’t have a bathtub.  And I longed for one.

I grew up taking baths; we didn’t have a shower in the house.  I spent hours in the tub playing with my Sea Hunt submarine, ordered from a cereal box.  My first shower was at FHA camp; I hardly knew what to do.  And then at college my first year, we had a shower room which was a rude awakening.  There was also one bathtub which was in the main part of the bathroom.  Everyone walking in saw you bathing.  Either way, there wasn’t much room for modesty.  Those were the last baths I took.  I became a showering person.

In 1990 we moved to a big ,old house with only one bathroom and a small half bath.  When it came making the bathroom usable, I decided who needs a bathtub.  I’m a showering person, we’re all showering people!  And there began the longing.  I would see people enjoying a bath on television, in magazines.  I would hear friends talk of relaxing in their tubs.  I wanted a tub.  With all my heart, I wanted to soak in a tub.  I moaned about it so much that friends were inviting me over to bathe in their tubs.  But it just wouldn’t have been the same.  I wanted a tub.  For sixteen years, I wanted a tub.  Although, I do have to admit that for a while after the movie, “What Lies Beneath” came out, a bathtub wasn’t appealing.

With all those years of longing, you would think that I would use my tub daily.  Life is fast; showers are fast.  Tubs are slow.  Sometimes slow is just what you need.


A Different View of a Favorite

I think falling in love with the Magnolia is a part of growing up in the south.  No tree is more beautiful and breath-taking than a Magnolia grandiflora in full bloom.  West Georgia College (now known as the University of West Georgia) had a grove of these southern magnolias on the front campus — right is front of my dorm.  Late spring the fragrance would fill the air!

Since I moved to Kentucky, I’ve tried to bring my magnolias with me.  It’s a struggle with Kentucky’s unpredictable weather, but I haven’t given up.  My last magnolia was planted in New Castle, and moved with me six years ago.  I am thankful every spring when winter is past and it continues to live.

There is more beauty to a Southern Magnolia than those glossy, green leaves and huge, fragrant blooms.  Inside the white flower is the beginnings of a seed pod.  How unusual and funky is this?

In late summer and early fall, the pedals long gone, a tight pod takes the show.  Lovely in it’s own right with the palest hint of red.


When these tight fruits dry, two seeded red fruits appear.

So much beauty that is hardly ever noticed.

I think the love of magnolias is rooted in my southern heritage.  I now have another “tree love” that has been an acquired fondness.  I’ll share it with you in a later post.

Chicken Creole Connection

When I was writing this post about my life long love affair with a chicken creole recipe, my mind was traveling back to those days in the 70’s on Gazette Avenue.  Our next door neighbors, Ric and Judy Seaman, were in school and in much the same financial boat.  We would take turns making a special dinner, so that we had the feeling of eating out.  I still have recipes from Judy.  And this is the wonderful thing about the internet.  Out of the blue, I receive this note:

“Connie, somehow I just jumped onto your recipe blog page for Chicken Creole. I almost died when I read it!  We still use that recipe too!  Such good memories of us buying chicken when it went on sale and using it every way we could think of… I recall it going down to $.10 a pound on rare occasions and of jamming our little freezers as full as we could. To this day Ric won’t use tarragon because I made him eat so much Chicken Tarragon, but we all still do love Chicken Creole. Our kids were raised on it too!  How funny (yet great) are those memories of our little apartments on Gazette!”

She went on to mention the ducks I raised on our deck; I hadn’t thought of them in ages.  If you read this, you’ll see that some things never change!  Those were times of no computers (computers only lived in large, climate controlled rooms!), no smart phones, and no television.  Televisions were invented, we just didn’t have one.  Recreation was hikes in Red River Gorge (photo above) and canoe trips.  Do I want to go back to those times?  Nope.  I love my technology.  And I love being able to afford to go out to eat occasionally.  But it was nice to visit those times through a recipe.   And more importantly to connect with someone who shared those times and Chicken Creole.  Do you have a recipe with a story?