Blame it on Katie


We always have fun together.

NaBloPoMo, Day Eight.

Before I got out of bed this morning, I had decided that I was going to give up on this NaBloPoMo gig. I hate the writing prompts and haven’t followed any of the suggestions that are suppose to encourage my creativity. I’m not pleased with my posts and well, frankly, I was bored with it. Not five minutes later, I got a text.

“I love reading your blog, haha.”

The universe has a wicked sense of humor. If anyone else had sent that text I might have ignored it. But it came one of my dearest friends, Katie. If my awkward NaBloPoMo attempts had been useless or terrible, she would have been the first to tell me the truth. I rely on her for such directness. While I might not have appreciated her truthfulness about my dill pickle attempts, or knitting attempts, I know she’ll always shoot straight with me.

Now, I know most of the NaBloPoMo posts I’ve written have been iffy. They weren’t exactly bad, but they weren’t good either. But Katie loved them.


Katie came into my life via our niece. They went to high school together. From the minute she walked through our front door after their senior prom, I knew I had met a friend for life. We have often talked about the fact that no matter what, when I’m old, she’ll check me out of the nursing home and take me to band festivals. And I know she’ll keep her promise.

Katie is an 'adopted' niece that we adore. She lights up any room she walks into AND she's my favorite strawberry sous chef.

She lights up any room she walks into AND she’s my favorite strawberry sous chef.

She makes me laugh. She makes me pull my hair out. She fills my life with good times and laughter. She’s capped dozens and dozens of quarts of strawberry’s so that I can ruin them with my attempts at making jam. She’s that perfect friend that you can call at 10 pm and say, I feel like an adventure. Before she even thinks about it, says, “What time do you want to leave?”

No excuses, no checking of the calendar, she just rolls with it. Everyone should have a friend like that.

I love how she always adds “haha” to the end of her texts. Even if she’s crying, there will be a “haha” thrown in. It used to drive me crazy. How on earth could I have a serious conversation with an adult tossing “haha’s” at me? But now, I come to expect them. If that haha is missing, something is desperately wrong.

So, I’m going to blame my continued efforts at this silly NaBloPoMo challenge on Katie.

Lord, help us all. Haha.


Dinner on a Wednesday Night

Tonight when I walked through the door, by darling husband was standing at the stove. He had mixed up a batch of corn bread and was warming leftover chicken noodle soup for supper. I could tell he was perplexed — or perhaps at the end of his rope. I wasn’t sure which it was until I looked in the pot and saw very little soup actually in there. I quickly took over and sent him off to light a fire before he offered to take us out for dinner.

We’ve been eating out too much lately. While eating out solves many problems, it creates others. It solves the problem that the three of us eat very different diets, so each of us gets what we want. Our son is a college student, so he wants plenty of meat and very few vegetables. I prefer all vegetable meals, and Vince wants a meat and three. If only we all liked the same vegetables or the same meats, cooking during the week would be easier.

Eating out solves the problem of who will do the dishes — or who won’t do the dishes. It also means that we will actually eat together at a table, when usually Sam heads to his room and we head for the couch.

One of the problems it creates is where to eat. We’re picky about restaurants. We have one criteria — the restaurant has to be locally-owned. While we might, on a vary rare occasion, eat at a chain, it only happens from necessity. Unfortunately, we’ve tried all the local restaurants, and we’re pretty confident that we’re better cooks that 90% of the places in town. So right now, we’re down to three restaurants and frankly, we’re tired of their menus. I was determined that, tonight, we were going to eat at home.

As Vince walked out of the kitchen, I grabbed the other storage container of soup that he didn’t know was in the fridge. I also added a container of homemade chicken broth. Then a few more noodles, peas, carrots, butter, salt and pepper, and tossed in a little extra cumin (the real reason chicken soup is good for you). I filled the cornbread pans and went to change into my pajamas and hug on our furbabies, who were patiently waiting to be greeted. Twenty minutes later, our bowls were overflowing with our favorite soup. As expected, Sam took his bowl to his room and we headed for the couch. With a roaring fire warming up the room and soup warming up our tummies, I think we all took a deep sigh of relief and peace. I know I did.

Here’s a link to some of my favorite soups. I promise, they’re all simple and full of goodness. Perfect on a chilly night. I like to make a big batch of soup on the weekends. If I’m lucky, there will be enough leftovers to get us through one weeknight meal and a couple of lunches.

Because I Have Nothing Else To Do #NaBloPoMo2014

imageIt’s official, I’ve lost my mind and joined National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Each day in November, I’ve pledged to post something (photo, poem, recipe, or haiku) to Despite Everything. Considering I haven’t posted anything to this blog since May, this will either be the jump start I need or it will become something that I’ll easily forget. Either way, I’m up for the creative challenge and looking forward to writing here once again. After all, I have nothing else to do, right? Cough. Cough.

So what is NaBloPoMo?

National Blog Posting Month began in November 2006, as a response to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrMo) where participants pledge to write a 50,000-word novel in month. I might be crazy, but I’m not that crazy. Although, I met the inspiration for a character this week, when I turned down the wrong road and came to face-to-face with a woman named Ida.

I’ve missed writing posts for Despite Everything. I’m sure my siblings were relieved when I stopped publishing photos on the internet from our parent’s photo albums. I’m also sure our friends were relieved that every dinner or adventure stopped being inspiration for a new blog post. I, too, was relieved to rid myself of an overwhelming responsibility to be clever. At the time I stopped writing, I needed to simply live life. Not write about it.

So if I was so relieved, why did I sign up for a 30-day writing challenge? The most simple answer is, why not? I loved the feeling of accomplishment of pushing the WordPress publish button. I loved how our readers responded to what we had to say or what we were trying to accomplish. I loved how it connected me to friends and family. I loved that despite all the reasons I stopped writing, people kept reading. Everyday, readers found their way to this blog and our Facebook page. From time-to-time, people even would stop me and ask when was I going to start writing again.

So here we go — 30 days of new blog posts. I can’t promise that they’ll be clever or even inspirational. But for the next 30 days, you can count on something being published. I’ve created a special tab on the menu bar so that you can keep up. I’ll need encouragement along the way, so make sure to drop me a comment. Or two. Or everyday. After all, I’m sure you have nothing better to do too.

Let’s do this!