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The Eclectic Garden

Making a little bit of everything look just right.


True Story

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:35 am

Early in our marriage my wife and I got interested in plate collecting. I don't mean plates that you eat off of, but collector's plates that have scenes painted on them. At the time there as a magazine called "Plate World" that came out every other month showing all of the latest and upcoming plates. One particular day, recognizing that it was time for the latest edition, we decided to see if we could buy it locally. We were living in Layton, Utah, serving at Hill Air Force Base at the time. "Plate World" isn't a magazine that is carried by just anyone, so we decided to drive into Salt Lake City and see if we could find it there.

We had my young daughter and son in the car so I would drive up to a magazine store and drop my wife off so she could check and see if they had it. We did this quite a few times unsuccessfully and were about ready to give up when we saw another magazine store. I dropped her off and found a nearby parking space in the shade to sit and wait. After a little while I saw her walking to the car extremely fast with one hand shielding the side of her face. She opened the door quickly and slid in.

"Let's get out of here!"

"Did you find it?" I asked.

"Just get out of here!" she yelled.

It was obvious that she was upset, so I wisely did as she demanded and pulled onto the road and away from the magazine store. It took a while but I finally managed to get her to tell me what happened. I'll do my best to describe it accurately:

Upon entering the magazine store, she was greeted by a middle aged man of Indian descent. "May I help you?" he asked in a thick Indian accent.

She responded with, "Yes, do you carry Plate World magazine?"

To her surprise he answered, "Yes, go down this aisle all the way to end and take a left. You will find it on the top shelf."

"Thank you."

"You are most welcome."

She took off down the aisle, excited to finally have found someone that carried the magazine. She noticed a lot of men standing in the aisles looking at magazines. It was at this point that she started getting a little suspicious, but the clerk said they carried "Plate World" so she pressed on, anxious to see the latest issue.

She walked by a few of the men and felt their stares as she passed by. As she passed by one of the men she glanced at his magazine and was shocked to see a glossy picture of a naked woman. She was starting to feel very uncomfortable, but pressed on anyway. She finally made it to the end of the aisle and took a left. She looked where the clerk had told her and quickly realized that he had misunderstood her question. There, on the top shelf, was a whole row of "Playgirl" magazines. For the first time, she took a good look at her surroundings and understood that she was in an adult book store. It wasn't too long before she was sliding into our car, yelling at me to get out of there.

I sat and listened to her tell the story and did the only thing that a loving, caring husband would do in a situation like this. I laughed until I cried. Needless to say, shortly thereafter we took out a subscription to "Plate World" magazine.


Last edited: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:41 am

This blog entry has been viewed 216 times


Another Kitchen Observation

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:17 am

There is one cabinet in the kitchen that I am weary about opening. It's the one that contains the plastic ware; you know, the pitchers, bowls and Tupperware containers.

It started out organized, but over the course of time has become an unorganized mess. It's gotten to the point that if just one piece is moved incorrectly it all comes toppling over. I've watched members of my family when they are putting away dishes. They open the door, toss the item in and then close it back quickly, hoping not to topple the perfectly balanced infrastructure. Then, when they want something out of the cabinet they delicately open it back up and peek around the door before opening it completely.

A lot of times, when an item is taken out of the cabinet there ends up being an avalanche of plastic ware as the prize is pulled out of the stack. It's both comical and aggravating at the same time. It's our little game of kitchen Jenga.

The worst thing is trying to find a container with a matching lid. It's amazing to me how we can have ten containers and ten lids, but none of them will fit together. No matter how hard I try I can never seem to find a match. And the whole time I am seeking the lid, I am desperately trying to hold the stack in place, praying that it doesn't fall over. I think all the lids in our house have ran off with the other sock that disappeared in the dryer.

In order to remedy the situation we continually buy more sets of containers and lids. They seem to be fine the first time they are used, but after that first washing they disappear into the abyss and are seldom seen again. What makes it worse is that we're never smart enough to take all of the old containers and lids out and throw them away. It's like we're clinging to the hope that the wayward plastic ware will somehow find its way home.

This blog entry has been viewed 162 times


Kitchen Observations

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:24 am

Here are some things that I have noticed happening in our kitchen.

If a certain dish or utensil is needed, but is not where it is supposed to be the next best thing will be substituted instead of looking for it or, heaven forbid, actually washing it.

For example:

If cereal bowls are not available, mixing bowls are used.

If glasses are not available, coffee cups are used (and vice versa).

If teaspoons are not available, tablespoons are used.

If butter knives are not available, steak knives are used.

If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, dirty dishes will be piled in the sink.

If the dishwasher is full of dirty dishes, dirty dishes will be piled in the sink.

If the dishwasher is empty, dirty dishes will be piled in the sink (there seems to be a pattern here).

If something doesn't come clean in the dishwasher it will remain in there and get washed over and over again in hopes that the dishwasher will somehow magically find a way to get it clean. It doesn't normally see daylight again until someone desperately needs it, at which point it will be pulled out and hand-washed (albeit rather begrudgingly).

If the trash can is full the trash will stack up until I tell one of the boys to take it out. The one I tell to take it out always says, "I didn't notice that it was so full", even though they just took three minutes to carefully balance a balled up paper towel on top of the heap.

Someone always tears open the cereal bag so that the cereal doesn't flow out smoothly. Inevitably, this means that cereal scatters all over the counter as soon as the box is tipped over.

If I pour milk into a bowl of cereal with big flakes the milk always seems to hit dead center on the one flake that is sitting flat, causing a small stream of milk to ricochet out of the bowl and all over the counter.

I never know we are out of milk until after I have poured a bowl of cereal.

Boxes of cereal are put back in the cabinet with barely enough cereal left in them to cover the bottom of a bowl, but no one ever takes the blame for it.

For some reason, sugar always falls off of the spoon just before it reaches its destination.

If it is liquid, it will spill.

If it is not liquid, it will spill.

If it is grape juice, it will spill onto something that stains easily.

The biggest spills always come immediately after the floor has been mopped.

I have been known to remove the burner cover and then turn on the stove, only to find out that I had removed the wrong burner cover (we've had to replace a few).

The toaster either burns toast or pops it up before it is done.

It is easy to tell when someone ate toast for breakfast because the butter has crumbs in it or, worse yet, jelly.

And finally, my personal favorite. We buy bananas. They turn black on the counter. We throw away the bananas. We buy more bananas.

Sound familiar?



Last edited: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:30 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 200 times


Graduation

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 12:47 am

It's hard to believe that all of my kids have now graduated from high school. I guess a little bragging is in order.

We attended a graduation ceremony for my youngest son last night. He has already completed two semesters of college by dual enrolling and plans to complete his AA degree in IT technology and then pursue a bachelor's degree in computer programming.

My oldest son graduated four years ago, has completed an AA degree and is working to become a paramedic. His ultimate goal is to be a flight nurse.

My daughter graduated eight years ago, is a registered nurse, has been married for nearly seven years and blessed us with our first grandson in March of this year.

God blessed my wife and I with three great children and continues to bless us every single day. My daughter lives four and a half hours away, but came home for her brother's graduation. It is so good to have them all home again.

I've heard other people say that they couldn't wait for their kids to leave home. My way of thinking is totally opposite of that. I love being around them and have never been in a hurry for them to leave. When my daughter left for college just after graduation my wife and I were both devastated. A little over a year later she was getting married and we knew she would never be back. Devastation all over again. But we learned to adjust and now we have a beautiful grandson that we get to spoil.

We've had ups and downs like everyone else, but any time I get down I think about my kids and things look a little brighter. The Bible says that children are a blessing from the Lord and I can attest that mine have definitely blessed me.

Last edited: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:27 am

This blog entry has been viewed 227 times


The Herb Bible

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:18 am

When my youngest son was about ten years old he became interested in herbs. In fact, he was so into them that he used to carry around an herb "bible". He would read to us from the back seat while we were driving down the road. I heard facts about every herb imaginable and some that I didn't even know existed.

Sadly, that phase of his life came and went. He has a casual interest in herbs now, but he is far from what he used to be.

Because of his interest I started liking them more. I've tried to grow many herbs but I have to say that I haven't been very successful. I love the smell of rosemary, lavender and mint. Every time I go into a nursery I have to run my hand through the leaves just so I can smell them.

I'll keep trying to grow them even though I don't seem to be the herb expert... and maybe someday my son will wander back out in the garden with me.


( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )





Last edited: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:29 am

This blog entry has been viewed 184 times




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