Another Clumsy Cook In The House!

Water is often used to cook foods such as noodles.

Water is often used to cook foods such as noodles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so happy I am giggling with glee. I am not the only clumsy cook in my house. Bible Study is tonight at my home. Usually we start with a potluck meal. I did some scrubbing and polishing to make our guests think I cleaned the house. The floor was shining, after all I wasn’t cooking. My husband is the chef for tonight and usually he is the clean cook in the house. He harasses me all the time about my messy droppings while I am cooking and the burnt vegetables.

I am at my desk working and I hear a loud bang. All of a sudden I hear a help hollered out. I run into the kitchen and there is a large glass of water spattered on the floor. When I say spattered I don’t mean in a small puddle I mean spattered into the dining room, almost to the bathroom and all over the kitchen. I guess I could have waited to mop the floor until after the meal was made.

I grabbed a towel and started wiping. As I started wiping I noticed the dried noodles all over the floor. We are having a spaghetti hot dish. I commented on the debris on the floor. Husband claims I didn’t get it when I swept. When was the last time we used spaghetti? I gently wiped up the dried spaghetti crumbs. I finished wiping the water in the dining room and noticed some onion peels. I started laughing. I am not the only messy cook in the household.

For some reason that fact brought joy to my heart. It must mean that we both get so excited about cooking that we like to spread our joy around in the form of food. Ha.

Shop Til You Drop-Save Brick and Mortar Stores- Something About Nothing Column

Column: Something About Nothing

I am so sad. Well, I am not that sad but I am sad. I am sad about the way our shopping habits are affecting the stores I love to visit.

I haven’t done a lot of shopping this past year in brick and mortar stores. Part of the reason was illness, part of the reason was laziness and part of the reason around the holidays was avoidance of crowds.

It was easy during cold weather to do my shopping with the click of a mouse. I didn’t have to battle the cold, the crowds or the heat this summer. All I had to do was to click my mouse and I could shop in my PJs.

I had a light-bulb moment while visiting a shopping mall this week. My grandkids had stayed with me and reluctantly we had to return them to their parents. Our meeting place was the River Hills Mall in Mankato. I have spent a few minutes in the mall a couple of months ago but it was to attend a movie and I didn’t pay much attention to the stores.

My granddaughter’s favorite pastime is shopping. She gets the fact at 9 years old that women like to shop. We strolled the mall. Maybe we were shopping at the wrong season. Our first stop was Bath and Body Works. I remember being in a wheelchair during one of my broken bone days and not being able to shop Bath and Body Works because it was so full of goodies. This time it would have been an easy trip in a wheel chair which is good for the handicapped.  It struck me that they do not seem to be carrying as much merchandise.

We strolled the mall a little further and there were stores closing. To be fair there were some stores opening, but I wondered how long they would last. As we browsed in the stores many of them seemed to me to have less merchandise than they did a year or so again. Their aisles seemed wider and less cluttered.

We of course had to visit my favorite store of Barnes and Noble and touch and smell the books. Their aisles too were emptier I am sure because of ebooks. I wondered if some day I would visit malls and the book stores would be entirely gone.

We made our way to the food court to meet the parents. I was excited about the many choices of food they used to have. The choices of food have narrowed. There was no Orange Julius, no Kentucky Fried Chicken. The food court had turned into half a food court.

This was my light-bulb moment. I contribute to the demise of malls and brick and mortar stores. I contribute because I let my mouse do the walking instead of my feet. I can blame the government for the jobless rate. However I feel somewhere in my mind that I too have contributed to the loss of jobs because of the way I shop. The jobs in malls and brick and mortar stores support many people. These jobs also help college and high school students earn some money to support their needs. These jobs are dying.

We are making a push to buy American-made, and I support that but we also need to make a push to support our local and area stores before they disappear and the only way we can get an item in on the Internet. When we do that, we not only lose our stores we lose a means of communicating and socializing that is important to keep us from being hermits.

We can meet and greet and communicate via computer and phone but face-to-face interaction can’t be replaced.

I would like to say that I am going to do all my shopping via the walking method rather than the mouse method, but I would be lying. I like to shop, but in my paring down phase I haven’t done much of it. I suspect other people too are cutting back.

We women used to shop till we dropped. There were a lot of wise cracks made about this subject. Woman got together with other friends and shopped. We had fun, we laughed and it was a social event. Today’s women have stopped socializing through shopping. Many have stopped spending time with friends because they have no time. It is good for the soul to take time to spend with friends.

Maybe it is up to the women to save the economy. We need to ignore the wise cracks and get back to our slogan “Shop till you drop.” Make it a social event. Women are stressed so they have stopped shopping. It is time to take back the shopping. If you like to shop it will help you de-stress. If aren’t a shopper, help out a friend that does. Watch their kids, take over a task and let them shop for you. Save the economy. Men, if you like to shop you can join us in our “Shop Till you drop;” we won’t hit you with any wise cracks.

Just thinking about a rally to shop to save our brick and mortar stores makes me less sad. When women set their minds to something they accomplish great things. You go girls!

Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death and the ecstasy of the purchase.” — Erma Bombeck

by Julie Seedorf © August 2012

Quirky Favorites!

I fall in love with things that are unique. I am not famous but I decided to pretend I am Oprah for one day and list some of my favorite things. Sorry there are no giveaways like Oprah since I am only a pretend Oprah for the day. Although I suppose we could pretend there were pretend giveaways.

Here are a few of my favorite things.

Tiny Houses

I love the tiny houses that they feature on There is something that hits the simple side of me about living in a small space. I certainly couldn’t collect all the things that I do now but my life certainly would be a lot simpler. These tiny little houses speak to my heart. Maybe someday I will be able to own one.

Lovely’s By Laura

I very seldom fall in love with jewelry except for weird unusual earrings. The cuter more unusual they are the better I like it. I was very surprised when I fell in love with the necklaces from Lovely’s By Laurel. These necklaces are unique and beautiful. The designer weaves her imagination into intricate designs. I can’t dismiss her earrings either. This jewelry could be worn by the rich and famous. I will pretend I am rich and famous when I wear and buy some of her creatively made jewelry.

Goat Milk Stuff

I do have Oprah to thank for this. I found Goat Milk Stuff through her magazine and her recommendation. I ordered my first soap a few months ago. I started with the Lavendar and Castile Bar. It was creamy on my skin. I had been suffering from dry skin and the lavender seemed to help. I used the Organic Castile on my face and loved it.  It might be my imagination but my 62-year-old skin seems better and the blackheads seem smaller. I recently added the laundry soap and the shampoo bar. I was not disappointed in them either. Plus it feels so luxurious to use these products because they smell so good. The other thing I like about this company is the easy availability to get in touch with them if you have any questions.


My life revolves around having a coffee cup in my hand. The aroma speaks to my senses.  There is nothing better than starting the day with a good cup of coffee. The aroma of coffee reminds me it is time to chill out and take a break. I have a couple of favorites. One of my favorites is Door County Coffee. They have many flavors available Maybe what I like about Door County Coffee is that I can close my eyes and visualize the beauty of Door County. It takes me away from the present for a little dreaming.

I also found a new coffee shop that I love. It is Prairie Winds Coffee. They do pour over coffee so they can create any taste. Their beans are also roasted in Minnesota. I can stop for a time out with flavorful coffee and delicious treats and carry that taste home to my own coffee maker.


I am not much of a drinker but I do like an occasional glass of wine and I find my favorite wines usually come from area vineyards. Since I don’t drink a great deal of wine I wouldn’t take my advice on which wine to try. I would check out local small vineyards. They are fun to visit. Locally I love the wine from Indian Island Winery. My favorite is Dream Catcher. It is a semi sweet red wine. Another winery I like is from White Oak Vineyards near Des Moines, Iowa. Again one of my favorites is their Celebration Wine which again is a semi sweet red wine. I haven’t checked out the other wineries near my home but hopefully that will happen in the future.

Beer Finding WebSite

I don’t drink beer. Many people do. If you live in the Twin Cities and want to find out where you can find your favorite specialty beer than you need to check out Plug in the beer you are looking for and it will tell you which establishment is serving it. It might seem strange that I recommend a site like this but I know the owner of this website. Plus I feel this was a clever idea.

These are some of my favorite things for today. They are items and places I like. You may feel differently. I receive no kickback from these sites, just the joy of using their products. Use everything at your own risk they may bring you too much enjoyment. I will list the websites in the links on the side. It was fun playing Oprah for a few minutes. Now I want to sing the song “Favorite Things” from the sound of music. I think I am getting too carried away. It’s time to chill out with that cup of coffee.