Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Kentucky

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

This week NASCAR returns to Kentucky Speedway, the scene of epic bungling last year for its inaugural race. But that was then and now promises to be… better!

So, while preparing for the Quaker State 400 this weekend, get your minds wrapped around songs that contain the word “Kentucky” in their title, lyric, and/or band

If Kentucky bluegrass music is your thing, throw that out there as well!

And, finally, if you know of any singers, songwriters, and/or bands from Kentucky, include them, too.

Please make the effort to revisit this blog throughout the day and weekend to see the selections added. Interactive blogs are most fun when the readers actually interact and add their two cents!

Weekends in general are a fantastic time to brush up on the articles here at Chief 187™Chatter. From finding easy, accessible, and tasty recipes on the Tantalizing Thursday posts to entertainment ideas on the Monday Media (or Movie) Blogs, there is so much to utilize. Looking for an uplifting read? Try Simple Joys or one of the Wednesday Freestyle posts. And, of course, the Friday Music Blog can beef up your music knowledge and catalogue.

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Numbers are swelling once again which is so encouraging that, after this much time, you still embrace what I do here weekly. The addition of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps have helped bring even more new eyes to the site, but old favorites continue to draw crowds.

I write for me and for my children to enjoy one day. The fact that I have a readership at all continues to amaze and humble me. I am thankful for each and every pageview, comment, and share. Thank you for being here!

Please join me back here on Monday as I begin another week of entirely new, fresh, and original works here at Chief 187™Chatter.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Kentucky

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

NASCAR roars into Kentucky for the running of the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

If you would like to take the easy path to dinner and the fixins there is nothing wrong (and I even strongly encourage) with heading to your local KFC (Kentucky Fried

Chicken if you are my age) and get yourself a bucket of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac-n-cheese, cole slaw, and a whole mess of biscuits.

But, if you would like to play in the kitchen and come up with some tasty dishes to serve yourself, your family, and/or some friends, try these I found.

Being that I am from New Jersey and my state accurately boasts the best tomatoes on the planet, this recipe seemed wonderful to utilize the bountiful harvest that will be collected.

Kentucky Tomato Soup
Recipe found on
Provided by: LAGIRL
"This creamy tomato soup is delicious and has a twist - the addition of strong, black coffee. This is the perfect summer dish for using freshly picked tomatoes from the garden. Remember - the better the quality of the tomatoes, the better the taste of the soup."


3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup heavy cream


Melt the butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and parsley; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, coffee, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Pour the hot soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Stir in the cream and heat until warm. Do not boil.

Now on to a Southern delicacy, fried green tomatoes prepared the traditional way.

Kentucky Style Fried Green Tomatoes
Recipe found on
Provided by: BONO1
"If you're not frying your green tomatoes in bacon grease then you have lost half of the great flavor! No self-respecting Southerner fries their green tomatoes in anything but bacon grease!"


1/2 cup bacon grease
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 green tomato, cut into 1/4 inch slices


Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat. In one small bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal and pepper. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk using a fork.
Dip the tomato slices into the egg and milk, then coat with the dry mixture. Place the breaded tomato slices in the hot bacon grease. Cook until browned on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Bacon grease burns easily, so adjust your heat if you need to.

The next recipe is one you may want to try now, but file away to have when planning your Thanksgiving feast and counting on leftovers.

Kentucky Hot Brown
Recipe found on
Provided By: KLVAUGHN
"If you're a southern belle or gentleman at heart you have to try this one! Hot turkey over hot toast and smothered in a buttery sauce. There are two things Kentucky does right--horse racing and the hot brown. This is also great for Thanksgiving leftovers!"


1/2 cup butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 pound thinly sliced cooked turkey
8 slices bread, toasted
8 slices bacon, cooked


In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to absorb all of the butter. Slowly whisk in the milk, and 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Stir in the egg to thicken the sauce, but do not allow boiling. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat remaining tablespoon of butter in a small skillet. Sauté mushrooms in the butter until soft. Set aside.
Preheat your oven's broiler. For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast onto a heatproof plate or dish. Cover the toast with about 1/4 cup sautéed mushrooms and a couple of tomato slices. Place a liberal amount of turkey onto each Hot Brown, and pour an even more liberal amount of sauce over. Smother that baby. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Place the entire dish under the broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, crisscross two slices of bacon on top, and serve!

And lastly, for a rich, sinful dessert, this pie ties things in nicely that are purely Kentucky… like bourbon!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Recipe found on
Provided By: ANITAL
"Kentucky bourbon gives a kick to this southern classic."


1 (9 inch) pie shell
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees F).
In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter or margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter or margarine melts and sugar dissolves. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Slowly pour sugar mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until set and golden. May be served warm or chilled.

Hopefully the mishaps that occurred at Kentucky Speedway will not be repeated at its second NASCAR Sprint Cup date for the running of the Quaker State 400. But, even if it is, you know you'll be eating well!

Please tune in tomorrow for the week ending and always popular Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grab Life While You Can

In recent years I’ve learned quite a bit about life from those who have passed in their prime.

It started when I purchased The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA enjoying a wonderful life with a wife he loved, children he adored, and a job he was quite happy. But pancreatic cancer struck the man and, knowing he did not have a lifetime left, squeezed every bit of life out of his remaining days.

In addition to living, he wrote his thoughts down for his students, his family, and for all who read it to learn from the wisdom gained from staring death in the face.

The book touched me to the core; it made me think, cry, challenge my complacency, and embrace love even more passionately than I had previously. I tried to take mental notes and internalize them. Sadly, many of the things I learned I have forgotten.

In the last few weeks I have been reading about the late NASCAR star Tim Richmond.

Richmond was a bright star who burned out far too early, succumbing to AIDS in a time when that held a stigma so strong and devastating that Richmond lived a lie for the remainder of his days denying he had the dreaded disease.

Richmond lived boldly and out loud, breathing life in and surrounding himself with fun at every turn. His lifestyle betrayed him in the end, but he still realized what was most important in life were the people he loved and being true to himself.

And finally last year’s loss of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon struck a nerve. Wheldon was a terrifically handsome, charismatic, and electric young man. Father, husband, racecar driver and so very vital, tackling life head on and seemingly fearing nothing, Wheldon seemed to be invincible. His passion for racing ultimately led to his demise in a freak accident at the season closing race in October 2011 at Las Vegas.

Wheldon left behind a pretty wife who loved him, two young boys who will never truly know their father, and a grieving fandom who will never forget their hero.

These men are famed for their deaths. Because we have heard of them and celebrated their accomplishments in life because they died in a public way we look to them as a beacon for understanding our own journey to death.

Because by simply living we are dying. The Circle of Life is constantly in effect. And it takes the exacting and stark wisdom of those knowing death is near to jar us into our own terminal reality.

I’m not suggesting we should dwell on our own inevitable deaths. But, for me anyway, I need to be reminded of how to prioritize lest I waste valuable time and energy of things that, in the grand scheme of things, just don’t matter.

I stress out… a lot. No matter how many Simple Joys I record, how many smiles I illuminate or laughter I sprinkle, I still get wrapped up in minutia that robs me of happiness and peace.

I let my children’s antics steal my sanity and serenity. I spend far too much time still worrying about what others think of me instead of concentrating on making memories that will outlast my lifetime.

For all we have is the here and now. Nobody knows when cancer, AIDS, or an accident will strike. Nobody can predict a 90 year lifespan or a twenty-five year one. We have today to grab our dreams, our loved ones, and our passions and follow them relentlessly.

Apparently I need reminders periodically, but I’m trying to retain these messages and live accordingly.

I hope this gentle reminder inspires you to grab what you want most out of live daily.

As I learned from the numerous times I have seen and heard the musical Rent by Jonathan Larson, there is “No Day But Today”.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Summer offers up some of the year’s easiest, effortless and most wonderful Simple Joys. My children are off from school, my parents are around, and my husband gets a shorter work day on Friday allowing us to begin our weekend a few hours earlier.

Swimming, afternoon thunderstorms, and going to the movies are some of the great joys of the season.

Again, every moment that brings a smile, a sprinkle of laughter, or a feeling of bliss is a Simple Joy pure and, well, simple!

As with any time of the year, I rely on the Simple Joys to bridge the times in my day that are difficult, frustrating, or just unpleasant.

When a person gets used to inviting Simple Joys into their life, the other stuff melts away faster.

Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Play-off Game. The beginning of last week found my eldest and his Little League baseball team in a play-off game. It took an extra inning to determine the winner, but at the end my son’s team reigned victorious. They were to play in the finals at the end of the week.

Afterward, regardless of it being 9pm EST and well passed all of our bedtimes, we took our hungry children to the local McDonald’s to celebrate the win and feed them all a late dinner!

We didn’t get home until nearly 10pm EST and no one got to bed until well all 10pm EST, but it was a joyous night accompanied by the fact that it was the children’s first full day of summer vacation and no one had to get up early the next morning!

Simple Joys were ever present that night as we watched baseball, urged our team on when they became the underdogs, celebrated when they won, dined on fun foods, and closed the day with loving hugs and kisses to end the perfect first day of summer vacation.

Heat wave. Heat waves are… hot. Yup, you read that right. And, honestly, that’s uncomfortable at best and miserable for the rest. But, thankfully, my parents offer my children and me a respite from the heat, something I am grateful as I do not have air conditioning.

We goop up (apply suntan lotion) and spend the day swimming at my parents' lake. The water is cool and refreshing, the company is neat, and the memories are priceless.

Spending the day at my folk’s lake house during a heat wave is the ultimate Simple Joy!

Baseball practice. In the middle of the heat wave the Little League coach called a baseball practice in anticipation of playing the final game of the season. It was HOT. But my boy and I went with a ton of cold water and a good attitude.

The night before my husband had taken my son to practice hitting pitched baseballs. They worked for hours and my son had mediocre success.

His first at bat at practice he struck out. His second he got a hit! We were overjoyed!

Although he'd had other hits in the season, he'd been in a slump. Seeing the delight in his eyes and knowing how important it was to him was a Simple Joy an entire season in the making.

Writers in the family. Last week my oldest son began a blog for the summer. In an effort to get him to write more I started a blog for him to encourage daily writing. It worked! Although he still struggles to organize his thoughts and find good words to illuminate his writing, the daily exercise is paying off.

On top of that he has garnered a loyal readership already! This is the highlight of his day when it comes to writing; seeing the comments that roll in on his blog are a huge Simple Joy for him!

My middle boy can barely write. He knows his alphabet and some simple words, but has yet to master more than some simple sentences. This, however, did not stop him over the weekend. He had just completed watching the film version of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and was inspired! He asked me to staple a “bunch of papers together so I can write a book”. So, of course, I did.

My boy’s book is a series of crayon-colored pictures and story written in his brother’s hand, his own, and mine. He is so very proud of the progress he is making and the product’s look. I am so abundantly proud of the writers I am developing in my home. Simple Joys all around!

Good hair day. I know, it’s vain and terribly surface of me. I can’t help it. I like having pretty hair. And I have it some of the times like when it’s not humid and I have time and the curling iron and my hair listen to me. But, that seems few and far between in the hazy, hot, and humid days of summer. Normally I don’t care as I swim so much that my hair seems perpetually wet. But, after three days of an intense early summer heat wave, Saturday started beautifully with crisp air, bright blue skies, and dryness that inspired me! My hair behaved itself and, after the beautification treatment (shower, product, blow dry, and curling iron) I turned out with… really good hair! Listen, sometimes there is no better Simple Joy than that and so that is my last Simple Joy of the week.

Wishing you a week filled with Simple Joys that make you smile, laugh, breathe easier, and inspire you in myriad ways.

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another topic on Freestyle Wednesday on Chief 187™Chatter.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Media Blog: Television Cliffhangers

Welcome to the Monday Media Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

With the summer season upon us and Dallas making a splash in its second incarnation on television my thoughts have recently revolved around television


The first cliffhanger I distinctly remember was the “Who Shot J.R.?” Dallas episode that ended the 1979-1980 season.

It was all anyone could talk about and the first time I recall t-shirts emblazoned with that very question linked to the television series.

Later in my Dallas watching days I recall the year in which Bobby Ewing was “dead” and, in the May 1986 cliffhanger episode, reappeared without explanation. That, too, was a long summer not knowing what happened!

Although my examples stem from Dallas episodes, there are countless other programs that have utilized the cliffhanger effectively.

What cliffhanger kept you abuzz all summer long and riveted to your television sets once September came around?

Join me tomorrow for the uplifting and positive Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Race Recap by Chief 187™

Clint Bowyer showed amazing presence of mind, focus, and determination when he drove his Toyota Camry to the checkered flag to win the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Dominating by leading 71 of 110 laps, including the final 39, Bowyer proved that a dirt late model racer from the Midwest could tame a road course as well.

Bowyer fended off the hard-charging defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart.

Stewart who qualified 24th worked hard throughout the race to position himself in the Top Five. With fresher tires Stewart was able to get to second but found he did not have enough laps left to pass Bowyer.

This was Bowyer’s first win of 2012, the first win for Michael Waltrip Racing this season, and Bowyer’s sixth career victory. It was also Bowyer’s first win with crew chief Brian Pattie.

Tony Stewart racked up his third Top Three in as many races with Sunday’s second place.

Kurt Busch who sat second behind Bowyer for much of the race, settled for third, his best finish of the 2012 season. Brian Vickers, Bowyer’s MWR teammate, brought home a respectable fourth place finish. Jimmie Johnson was fifth.

Jeff Gordon was sixth, a great finish considering he ran out of gas earlier in the race. Greg Biffle took seventh. Pole sitter Marcos Ambrose, the driver most said would walk away with this race, wound up in eighth. A.J. Allmendinger was ninth and Joey Logano rounded out the Top 10.

Matt Kenseth, posting a thirteenth at Sonoma, retains the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead another week, 11 points ahead of his teammate and nearest competitor Greg Biffle who ascends one spot.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. drops one spot to third due to his worst finish of the season, a 23rd at Sunday’s race. Jimmie Johnson sits comfortably another week in fourth. Tony Stewart jumped three positions to fifth.

Kevin Harvick’s 16th in the race kept him glued in sixth place. Clint Bowyer bounced up two spots to number seven. Denny Hamlin who took some spins in the race and finished 35th dropped three positions to occupy eighth. Martin Truex Jr. qualified well for Sonoma but finished 22nd fell two places to ninth. Sitting firmly in tenth for another week is Joey Logano.

The next stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit is the 1.5 mile tri-oval that is Kentucky Speedway. The logistical nightmare that was this event last year will hopefully be a distant memory as the action begins at 6:30pm EST on Saturday night, June 30th. Coverage will be on TNT for the Quaker State 400.

Enjoy the race and please remember to join me back here at this site for the Quaker State 400 Race Recap.

Candice Smith is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™ Chatter. Her works have been featured under the pen name Chief 187™ around the Internet including a syndicated post within the Indie Republic Network where she has conducted in-depth interviews with musicians, Mixed Martial Artists, and other personalities as well as waxes poetic on myriad topics. Candice Smith is currently writing her second season of her original column “Why I Love NASCAR” by Chief 187™ on Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, another of her NASCAR columns can be found at She also contributes articles and NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps weekly at She began her Internet writing career at where she honed her blogging skills and reawakened her love of NASCAR. Candice Smith can be heard on air four times a week co-hosting motorsports programs on Internet radio as well as her own racing show “Drafting the Circuits” on She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Sonoma

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

As the week draws to a close the NASCAR contingency are gearing up for their race at Sonoma Raceway, the first road course of the season.

I am on record as always loving road course racing so I am thrilled for this weekend.

This venue also lends itself easily to a topic for this week’s Friday Music Blog.

The focus is to name any and all songs that have the word “road” in the title or lyric.

As always, please remember to list the artist who performed the song.

I encourage you all to revisit this post throughout the day and weekend as new selections are added all of the time. As it is an interactive blog, the more who answer the more fun it becomes.

Weekends are an excellent time to catch up on all things at Chief 187™Chatter. Recipes from Tantalizing Thursday, movie titles or classic television programs to reminisce on the Monday Media Blog, and just good reads on any day’s post can be perused at your leisure.

If you will be shopping Amazon, please consider using my link located on the right hand side of this page. It costs you nothing extra when you are shopping but helps me immensely. Simply enter Amazon through my link, browse, add to your cart, and check out in one fell swoop and I benefit.

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Thank you to all of my loyal readers, new readers, and “lurkers” who check in occasionally. I appreciate each and every page view and am honored you take the time to read what I have to write.

Please join me again on Monday as I begin another week of all new, original, and fresh posts on Chief 187™Chatter.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Sonoma

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

NASCAR heads out West for road course racing at Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Sonoma, California is generally known as the birthplace of wine-making in California. The region is ripe with delicious foods, obviously great wines, and good living.

To capture the essence of the area I found recipes that could possibly transport you without ever leaving your kitchen.

For those of you who enjoy it, opening a bottle of California wine to drink with your food may be another great way to escape to Sonoma.

First, because you cannot have too many great chicken salad recipes (recall the one from Michigan last week), here is another delightful one to add to your repertoire.

Sonoma Chicken Salad
Recipe found on



1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
2 cups red seedless grapes
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced


In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.

When the chicken is cold, dice it into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery and dressing.
Serves 6

Californians tend to like to eat light, fresh, and healthily. They love salads and this one fits the bill for delicious dining and healthy living. The following recipe recommends brands for the ingredients. Please substitute your favorite brands in their stead where applicable.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with California Avacado
Recipe found on


3 Tbsp. STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. loosely packed fresh dill
½ lb. orecchiette or small pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
1 ripe Fresh California Avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
½ medium hot house cucumber, cut lengthwise in quarters and sliced
1 cup (6.5-oz jar) Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and cut in half


Place olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender; blend until creamy. Add dill and pulse just until incorporated. Pour over pasta and toss to coat.
Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

It wouldn’t be Tantalizing Thursday without dessert. I found this luscious one that utilizes rhubarb outside of strawberry rhubarb pie.

Easy Rhubarb Sauce Recipe
Recipe found on:


1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2-1/4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pound cake or vanilla ice cream


In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Add rhubarb; cook and stir for 5-10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon peel and nutmeg.
Serve warm or chilled over pound cake or ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1-1/4 cups.

Editor's Note: If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

I hope you watch the road race from Sonoma this weekend and cheer on your favorite NASCAR hot shoe who can turn both left and right successfully.

And I hope you get an opportunity to try one, both, or all three of these recipes, like them, and incorporate them into your summer rotation.

Please join me tomorrow as we close out another week with the ever-popular and totally fun Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love Part VI

“Love is in the air.”

“Love is all around.”

“Love is a many splendored thing.”

“Love hurts.”

“Love enures.”

“Love is.”

Inspiration for this monthly post comes at me nearly constantly. My playlists for my iPod are chock full of love songs of all kinds.

Every book I pick up, no matter what the genre, I spot a love story of some kind.

Each movie or television show I watch I spy a romance or storyline that showcases love of a particular variety.

Love. Familial love, friend love, romantic love, companion love, pet love, self-love (the last two not the creepy kind) and all other kinds of love are fascinating to me. I am magnetically drawn to love.

The optimism that love expresses is addictive. And, as the person who fearlessly searches out Simple Joys daily, finding love is a decidedly wonderful thing that I never tire.

Here are this month’s offerings for “Love: Part VI”.


Iris” The Goo Goo Dolls This song spoke to me the very first time I heard it which is rare. I’m slow to new music. But the music plus the lyrics reached out to me and captured my senses. Although played in the movie City of Angels, it is not that movie I think of when I hear this song. It is far more universal, yearning, and potent than that movie. Still a favorite.

Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away” Phil Collins I’m not even sure if this song was a hit or when or how I found it, but it was another one that I was instantly attracted. First, I like Phil Collins. He is, in essence, an Everyman when he sings plaintively about love gone wrong, awry, or, occasionally, right. This song just captivates me as I imagine the scenario between lovers.

Living Inside Myself” Gino Vanelli A song from my past that I rediscovered on a compilation album my husband ordered for me off an infomercial I would watch constantly while nursing my second baby years ago.

The lyrics, while rather simplistic and repetitive (the sign of a gigantic hit in the 1980s) are still powerful to me and Vanelli’s voice is passionate.


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Aragorn and Arwen’s love story is palpable, longing, real, and defies the borders of time and space. They are truly forever connected.

Finding Nemo – The obvious love story here is between father and son in all its complicated, frustrating, and harrowing turns. But the love story between Marlin and Dory is beautiful, too. My eldest son and I still debate whether, at the end of the movie, Marlin and Dory are just friends (his theory) or a couple who are in love (my theory). Regardless, we both agree they love one another.

Tombstone – Again, the obvious love story is between Wyatt Earp and the actress who steals his heart, Josephine Marcus. But I see a love between Wyatt and Doc Holliday that is a mix of friendship and brotherhood and stronger than most any shown on film.


Junior Johnson: Brave in Life – My selection of NASCAR books may seem odd, but those are the books that surround my nightstand nowadays. But as stories go, love is ever-present.

In this book I was almost ready to give up my search for love when, toward the end, Junior tells about leaving his first wife and finding love with his current wife who he has now been with for two decades.

Their relationship defied odds – she is thirty years his junior (no pun intended). But, they have raised two children together, an act that saw Junior happily walk away from NASCAR to do.

His matter-of-fact statements about his wife and life with her may not be mushy or romantic, but still unmistakably show the depth of love he feels for her.

A Treasury of Curious George – Listen, I know my selections are quirky at best, but this is what my life is filled with at present. I don’t fight it or fake it, I just go with it!

The Man in the Yellow Hat obviously loves George, the curious little monkey, and vice versa. The misadventures can be scary, strange, and downright silly, but the two always want to reunite.

They truly do share a very sweet and special love.

Bill Engvall: Just a Guy – Engvall is one of the comedians from The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, but my husband and I had been watching him for many years before that group was formed.

When we came across this book we bought it and really enjoyed it.

As comedians will often tell you, their past isn’t always so funny or nice, and Bill’s isn’t fairy tale perfect.

But I took away a sense of the love of family he has from the way he was raised, the love of his wife, and the innate nice guy he is.

It is a complete joy for me to explore and share love through media on this post. As we enter the second half of the year I am thinking of broadening the media from which I examine.

As with any post of mine, your feedback is not only welcome it is appreciated. I am inspired by what inspires my readership as well, so please feel free to leave your impressions of love in music, books, movies, and the like.

Join me tomorrow as we discover delightful recipes on Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger is right! Last week a case of Gastroenteritis entered our home and refused to leave until every last one of us, and my parents, were stricken with it!

Times like those, whether caring for the sick or being the sick yourself, it is very difficult to find the Simple Joys in life.

But, I did realize that looking for and ultimately finding the Simple Joys are the ways we come through these terrible times unscathed.

So, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Spacing. It’s not easy to find a lot to be grateful for when a child is in the home miserable, with terrible things coming out of both ends.

But, when more than one child lives in the house it is a blessing when the illness, which, no matter how much you scrub and disinfect, is bound to spread, spaces itself out.

It is difficult enough to care for the physical and emotional needs of a child going through this torture, but to have to be there for more than one child at a time would be terribly stressful.

This week it was a Simple Joy to not have more than one child sick at the exact same time.

Fever. Fever in and of itself is never a Simple Joy, but when my daughter was stricken with one this past week it did make her much more apt to cuddle me, her mother.

As those of you with restless, curious, and kinetic-energy riddled two-year-olds know, cuddling is the last thing on their list of priorities.

Having my daughter stop for cuddles, even fever-induced ones, was a small consolation of a Simple Joy under the circumstances.

Reprieve – lunch out. With it being the last week of school in our district, a celebratory feel was in the air. Wanting each child to have their special day my parents and I worked out two separate occasions to go to kid-friendly restaurants for lunch out.

Despite the rampant virus, for whatever reason, we were able to get the children out, enjoy a peaceful and fun-filled lunch and get home before the virus’ full impact returned.

Getting out of the house and dining with my children was a Simple Joy I will remember fondly.

Radio Show. The virus struck me hard Friday night into Saturday morning. For me, the worst part, besides going through it, was knowing I had a radio program to do on Saturday morning, early. I love doing the show and with it being such late notice I didn’t feel comfortable canceling out.

I barely had the energy, but packed with a glass full of ice chips for strength and rehydration I soldiered on and did the show. I was rewarded with my body and mind reacting in the positive – it was a great show and I was on the entire time, not just the two segments I was promised!

Being loyal to my job and coming through victoriously after being ravaged by illness was a Simple Joy I am proud to crow!

Father’s Day. Finally my husband fell to this nasty bug, the night before Father’s Day. We had tickets to a minor league baseball game to attend with the Cub Scouts. I offered him an out as, once the bug passes it leaves you wiped out for days. Instead, my husband was gung ho for the day.

The pre-game was fantastic – from tossing balls on the field with his boys to getting to see the dugout and meet former Yankee Sparky Lyle – and the game was, too! The home team won 3-2 at the bottom of the ninth after being tied 2-2 from the third inning.

Getting able to spend such a fun-filled day with my husband on Father’s Day was a Simple Joy I was pleased and relieved to get to experience with him.

There were times last week I was sure there were no Simple Joys to be found, but then something would happen and I would smile, or laugh, or simply exhale.

Simple Joys, even in times of illness, can and do exist.

Wishing you all Simple Joys!

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another topic on Chief 187™Chatter on freestyle Wednesday!