Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Sometimes I try the subtle approach when writing this weekly post, a personal favorite. On the surface it appears to be a weekly journal of the favorite parts of my week with my family. And it is. But it is truly so much more.

Simple Joys is a weekly reminder of how far I’ve come.

A beacon for me to rally when things aren’t going so well (yeah, that still happens for me), and a safe haven to remind me that tough times shall, too, pass.

Simple Joys are the moments that glue my life together when it is coming apart at the seams. They are the reasons for me to keep going, continue to smile, and cling to optimism.

Internet jokes, texts from friends, a surprise hug and kiss from my children, a favorite song not heard in far too long, and endless other pleasures – unmentionable things with my husband tops the list most times.

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

Joking. I like to be funny. I love to make people laugh – disarm them and make them laugh, doubled-over, face beet red, and tears streaming down their face. Last week, during the last home swim meet, I had opportunity to tease, good-naturedly, our team president. He’s been going through a tough time in addition to having to deal with presidential issues that are usually annoying or, at the very least, uncomfortable yet necessary. Once I set the joke, we engaged in good-natured ribbing that led to BOTH of us laughing.

Having the occasion to joke around and make a friend of mine laugh heartily was a Simple Joy I strive to experience as often as possible.

Firsts. At nearly 40 years old – remember, I reach this milestone in August and am planning, somehow, to do a huge virtual birthday party – there are few firsts I have yet to experience. I am fortunate to have bought a first car, a first house, and been blessed with a first child. In fact, I am on to a second house, three children, and more cars than I can keep track. So, to experience a first is heady. I am flying high on the fact that I will be heading to Pocono Raceway this Friday, not as just a fan of NASCAR racing, but as a member of the media with credentials. There are few words that I can choose that amply and satisfactorily express my extreme excitement for the experiences coming my way.

Anticipating anxiously a first any time but especially at my age is truly a wondrous Simple Joy.

Date Night. Any time one of these special nights occurs it makes it into my Simple Joys. I love Date Night. Securing a babysitter to entertain and keep my children safe allows my husband and me the luxury of concentrating on us, something vital to keeping our marriage passionate and the “couple” a priority. We had dinner and then went to a concert. No matter what we do, Date Night is sacred and a constant source of Simple Joys.

Having this song herald in the new month has always been and continues to be a Simple Joy.

Spyro Gyra. In the local paper I saw an ad to see Spyro Gyra in concert at a new venue in a neighboring town. I was familiar with the name of the band and knew my husband, since I met him in high school, was a huge fan of the band. I called my sitter, secured the date, and bought tickets.

The concert was easily the best live music I had ever witnessed. These musicians were at the top of their form. Enthusiastic, generous, unbelievably talented, and in awe and appreciation of their bandmates’ performances, this was truly a magical night of music.

Carole King. No, I don’t know her, but for as long as I can remember I have loved her music. There isn’t a July 31st that goes by in my life when I don’t think of her song "The First Day in August". The lyrics

On the first day in August
I want to wake up by your side
After sleeping with you
On the last night in July

All about Carole King: http://www.musictory.com/music/Carole+King).

There are times my Simple Joys are relegated to a nap on the couch on a Saturday afternoon hearing my husband constantly shushing the children, stolen moments with my husband behind a locked door, or an unexpected IM on Facebook.

Every moment that brings a smile, a laugh, a feeling of contentedness or excitement, love or peace is another moment when Simple Joys enhances my life.

Wishing you a week filled with Simple Joys and the quiet moments to reflect on them.

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Media Blog-Another Olympic Edition

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

So, it’s difficult NOT to have Olympics on the brain. Last week, in anticipation of the start of the Games, the Monday Media Blog focused on movies featuring Olympics as a backdrop, a topic, or starring/featuring Olympic stars.

This week, with the Games in full swing, list your favorite Olympic events and, for those who love nostalgia, your favorite Olympic moments (Summer).

Don’t forget to tell whether you enjoy the biographies of the young (and not-so-young) American athletes throughout the coverage.

In addition, tell your impressions of the Opening Ceremonies.

Please join me tomorrow for the ever-popular and up-lifting Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crown Royal Presents The Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Race Recap by Chief 187™

Making history at the country’s if not the world’s most significant track, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson added a fourth victory at the Crown Royal Presents The Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard solidifying his place in the annals of NASCAR history.

Dominating 99 of the 160 laps and holding off a hungry-for-a-win Kyle Busch, Johnson tied Jeff Gordon, his teammate at Hendrick Motor Sports, for career Cup wins at Indy.

Sunday’s win was Johnson’s third of the 2012 season tying him with 2011 defending champion Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski.

Lagging 4.758 seconds behind the victor, Busch had to settle for second.

Greg Biffle was third. Johnson’s teammate at HMS Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth and their teammate Gordon was fifth.

Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin stumbled in communication with his team leading to a sixth place finish. Ryan Newman turned in a seventh. Martin Truex Jr.’s eighth was a strong finish for the Michael Waltrip Racing driver. Keselowski finished ninth and Stewart was tenth.

Suffering a frustrating and disappointing entanglement with Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth

finished a crushing 35th dropping him out of the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points.

He was dethroned by Earnhardt Jr. who holds the top spot by 14 points.

Biffle stands in third another week and Johnson remains in fourth again. Fifth is still held by Hamlin.

Sixth spot is reserved another week for Kevin Harvick. Truex Jr. moved up one place when he took seventh. Stewart slid down one spot to eighth. Keselowski picked up one position for ninth. Clint Bowyer fell one spot to tenth due to his 15th place finish on Sunday at Indy.

Racing returns to Pocono Raceway next weekend for the running of the Pennsylvania 400. I am thrilled to report that I will be attending the weekend’s events, including the Cup race, on my first media pass ever. Join me online – Facebook, Twitter, and this site – for race weekend information.

Meanwhile, the race will be broadcast on ESPN at 12noon EST on Sunday, August 5th. Following the race I will publish my Pennsylvania 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 MotorsportsUnplugged.com. She also contributes articles and NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps weekly at WowShaneRadio.com. She began her Internet writing career at Rowdy.com 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 WhooBazoo.com. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Indianapolis Motor Speedway Edition

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

NASCAR returns to the historic and storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend to run the Crown Royal Presents The Curtiss Shaver 400 At The Brickyard 400 Powered By BigMachineRecords.com. I’m just going to let that sink in…

Once again several topics leap to mind when contemplating a focus for this week’s Friday Music Blog.

First, any song that mentions “Indiana” in the title or lyrics of a song or band/artist name is sought.

Second, any song with the word “brick” in the title or lyrics of a song or band/artist name is wanted.

Finally, name any song you feel is appropriate for racing at the Brickyard, especially for your driver of choice!

It’s always my great pleasure to see selections added throughout the weekend to lengthen the list of songs. In fact, weekends are a terrific time to visit Chief 187™Chatter. From recipes to Simple Joys, movie titles to engaging reads, there is much to read to entertain all tastes.

If Amazon shopping is something you do, please use my Amazon link. Located on the right hand side of this page, you simply enter through the link, browse, add to your cart, and check out in one fell swoop and, at no cost to you, I benefit a bit. Your efforts are all appreciated.

Looking to wear or showcase some Chief 187™ gear? Shop over 60 designs that span apparel, housewares, paper goods, and gift items. Each product features the Chief 187™ original logo, website, or my likeness.

As July comes to a close soon it is with amazement and gratitude I look back at the last year. With a stronger readership, well-received weekly features, and optimism for the future, Chief 187™Chatter is stronger than ever. And for that I thank all of you.

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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Indiana Edition

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

After an off weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers return to competition at one of the most globally important tracks on the circuit, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Exploring the many food preparations of this area has proven to be fun and fabulous with tasty recipes abounding.

I hope you enjoy these mid-western delights that are from Indiana. Meat/beef is a key ingredient to most of these hearty recipes.

Hoosier Chili
Recipe Found on http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hoosier-chili/detail.aspx
Provided By: Jeanne Boberg
"This chili is a little sweeter than other recipes I've tasted, but I like it that way. It reminds me of the chili my mom used to make."


2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 (16 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown beef until no longer pink. Add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Add all remaining ingredients except last two; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, adding macaroni for last half hour of cooking time. Stir in the beans and heat through.

The tenderloin sandwich is a mainstay in many mid-western states with variations from region to region. Here is an Indiana version.

Traditional Indiana Breaded Tenderloin Sandwich
Recipe found on http://allrecipes.com/recipe/traditional-indiana-breaded-tenderloin-sandwich/detail.aspx
Provided By: Kathi Richards
"If you leave Indiana, nobody will know what you are talking about. But if you come visit us, you will make it a point to grab one of these on your next trip back!"


4 (4 ounce) slices of pork tenderloin, cut across the grain
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup peanut oil for frying

4 Kaiser rolls, split
4 teaspoons mayonnaise, or as needed (optional)
4 teaspoons ketchup, or as needed (optional)
4 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard, or as needed (optional)
4 leaves lettuce (optional)
4 slices tomato (optional)
4 slices onion (optional)
4 slices pickle, for garnish (optional)


Place each slice of pork tenderloin between two pieces of sturdy plastic (such as a cut-up large plastic freezer bag), and flatten the cutlet until it's about 1/4 inch thick, and about 3 1/2 by 5 inches in size.
Beat the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl, and whisk in the garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, marjoram, oregano, salt, and pepper until the spices are well blended into the mixture. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl.
Dip each flattened cutlet into the seasoned milk-egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs, thoroughly coating the cutlets with crumbs. Set the breaded cutlets aside on a piece of parchment or waxed paper; do not stack.
Heat the oil in a large skillet until the oil is shimmering. Gently lower the cutlets, one at a time, into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes per cutlet. Drain the cutlets on paper towels.
Preheat oven broiler, and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
Spread the Kaiser rolls open with the cut sides up, and broil until the rolls are toasted and hot, about 1 minute. Top each roll with a fried cutlet (hopefully the sides of the meat will hang out of the roll by at least an inch on each side); top each cutlet with choice of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a pickle slice, if desired.

What do you serve with a tenderloin sandwich? Potato Salad of course! But, it must be chock full of bacon!

Indiana Potato Salad
Recipe found on http://allrecipes.com/recipe/indiana-potato-salad/detail.aspx
"Classic flavors of bacon, cheese and onions make this wonderful yet easy, easy, easy."


8 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces processed cheese food, cubed
1 cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced bacon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place potatoes into a pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until easily pierced with a fork, about 12 minutes. Drain and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix with mayonnaise, processed cheese and onion.
While the potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain and break into large pieces. Place on top of the potatoes.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until cheese is browned.

Finally it is time to end this culinary tour of Indiana with a sweet treat.

Durbin Hotel Sugar Cream Pie
Recipe found on http://allrecipes.com/recipe/durbin-hotel-sugar-cream-pie/detail.aspx
Provided By: E. Sexton
"This sugar cream pie is outstanding and was made for years by the Durbin Hotel in Rushville, Indiana."


1 prepared 8 inch pastry shell, baked and cooled
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In the top of a double boiler, combine the butter, sugar, 1/2 cup whole milk, and whipping cream. Heat until butter is melted and mixture is simmering, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup cold whole milk and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth, then slowly pour into hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Simmer mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into baked pastry shell and sprinkle with ground nutmeg.
Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

I hope you enjoyed this calorie-laden but scrumptious tour of Indiana through native recipes. Perhaps some of them will grace your table (or television tray) as you sit back to watch the Crown Royal Presents The Curtiss Shaver 400 At The Brickyard 400 Powered By BigMachineRecords.com or, as I like to call it, the Brickyard 400!

Please join me tomorrow for the week ending ever-popular Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Throughout my days and weeks I am blessed to have any number of people engage me in conversation. For whatever reason, I am the keeper of their secrets, their dreams, and their innermost fears and thoughts, even if I’ve just met them. It is something that I don’t understand, but I feel very privileged to have this “gift” of connecting.

What I have learned aside from having enormous compassion for the people who share with me, is that listening to all of these stories gives me a deep appreciation for what I have. At times I go through a life crisis; lack of faith, and uncertainty, but being a sounding board for people has allowed me the great pleasure of clarity.

Since I was a child I would be privy to my peers’ confessions, complaints about parents, and various other admissions. This allowed me to skip the all-too perfunctory rebellious stage of being a teenager. I was blessed to have the wisdom to listen without judgment yet steer the course of my life through the examples of others.

Being a young bride (I was married at 20 and with my love since 14) I had a certain amount of trepidation about the “odds being against us”. I worried that perhaps we actually would grow apart and our love would become a casualty of the youth we’d outgrown.

But, again, listening to friends fall in and out of love – sometimes in the same week – and lament relationships they had sabotaged through poor decisions, apathy, and, in some cases, cheating, cemented my fervor for my husband.

As my circle of friends widened enormously due to social networking and my career as a professional writer, I still find the intimate and frank discussions occurring with both close friends and new acquaintances alike. Now I think of these situations as “givens” like in proofs in geometry. There are some facts that just are; for me it’s that I am the beneficiary of confessions and life stories for scores of people.

That is still a much appreciated gift to me. It brings me so much clarity, compassion, ability to be objective, and opportunity to experience the world. I need not do everything I hear spoken to know how it would affect my life, how it would reverberate and whether it was worth it.

Many still believe the adage “the grass is greener on the other side.” I understand this bit of human nature and have not been immune from feeling this at times in my life. But, by amassing the experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and hopes of others in addition to my own, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my life – for me – is truly green.

That may sound conceited, “braggy”, or just plain rude, but it is not intended to be at all. My point is my life is green (good) for ME. The life I have constructed, worked hard for, invested time, money, love, patience, compromise, and myself into is the best life for me.

If we all good have the benefit of seeing our lives more objectively we might feel more contented. Money isn’t the answer to happiness; neither is being thinner or having more hair or whatever superficial trappings we believe we need to be “happy”. That’s a difficult concept to accept for many.

Over our time together I have written a lot about how my marriage is of utmost importance to me. Does that mean I don’t make mistakes, take him for granted, or lose my way? Of course not, I certainly do! What it does mean is that I try periodically to check on our progress, assess if we’ve grown stagnant, and call a sitter when we desperately need to reconnect and find “us”. Because, as I’ve heard countless others confess, I do not want to lose “us” to “them”. I want our shared grass to always be greener to us than another’s yard!

Whatever my role, purpose, or time on this planet, I hope to continue to serve as a sympathetic ear. I strive to live my best life while offering the best me I can to others. I believe truly successful people are the ones who connect daily with others. Who add a positive note to the world and elevate moods. By staying in touch with people and letting them lighten their loads I am keeping a balance.

So, that’s a part of my story. I’m the one who, if you were to meet me, would get your life story or your deepest darkest secret out of you within minutes. And not only would that be a great thing, it’s something that keeps me humming happily daily.

After all, it’s all about connecting.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Sometimes I grasp for Simple Joys in my week, paying careful attention to construct good times, peaceful moments, and small events that make me smile or laugh.

Other times Simple Joys fall from the sky blanketing me with an all-over feeling of goodness that envelopes me and cocoons me from life’s sadnesses and struggles.

And still there are times in my life that Simple Joys are subtle but their message everlasting. Understanding and appreciating my lot in life, accepting the happiness and joy for what they are, and having the foresight to stay in the moment and not be overwhelmed by superfluous things has brought a serenity to me that washes doubt away.

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

Lipstick. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. I have worn lipstick since I was old enough to wear makeup, but I never found a signature color or brand that works well for me… until recently. I wear Maybelline’s Superstay 24 2-Step Color in Cinnamon Stay (130). It goes on me brilliantly, stays on endlessly, and compliments me splendidly. It even stays on and lasts through kisses which is miraculous because I kiss... a lot! All of that in one lipstick, I call that a Simple Joy!

Rain. Nothing sidelines an outdoor swim meet like thunder and lightning. This happened mid-week for our team so we had an unexpected night off. For the first time in many Wednesdays I was able to make a hot, homemade sit-down meal for my family. It was delicious and, more importantly, provided a forum for dinner table talk and a relaxed nighttime routine. Although we love the activities we are involved as a family, a last minute reprieve from the rigorous schedule we keep added several Simple Joys to our week.

Day late and pressed into service. The swim meet was rescheduled for the very next night. I packed the children up and arrived moments before my husband who came from work. While our children played and readied themselves for the competition, I was asked to volunteer since those who fill certain spots to make the meet happen smoothly were not all able to perform their duties on a different night.

I was asked to be the announcer for the night! I had to speak into the microphone in front of the entire meet and “marshall” the kids (have them line up in preparation to swim), announce the events, and read off the list of names of the swimmers as well as remind the folks that the concession stand was open and the 50/50 was still for sale! All of this while being calm, cool, collected, and entertaining.

Ok, so, I’m a ringer – I’ve been doing radio for a couple of years now and I was always comfortable talking to crowds from the years I was a teacher and ran a cheerleading competition.

Barring the fact that I unmercifully butchered the pronunciation of several last names, I was pretty good. And, secretly, would relish the chance to do it again and again! Using my “talents” to help my children’s swim team is a Simple Joy I hope to experience again.

Practice. Our middle boy is a brand new Tiger Scout in the Cub Scouts organization. Although my son and his den mates do not start weekly meetings until September, they are encouraged to take part in all of the scouting activities the Pack hosts over the summer.

The summertime Raingutter Regata is a family favorite and is this weekend. In an effort for our son and his den mates (and their parents) to get acquainted with the procedures and processes, my husband organized a “How To” dinner on Friday night. The boys dined on hot dogs, chips, and fruit salad while parents ate the same plus potato salad and a fabulous ramen noodle salad. They practiced in our "practice" gutter filled with water we had bought to allow our older boy to practice over the years.

The event was a huge success, the boys had a blast as did the parents, and it left us all feeling very optimistic about the Raingutter Regatta as well as the years we’ll spend together as parents in Cub Scouts.

Finding this all out on a rainy Friday evening was a bastion of Simple Joys!

Beach. The big fundraiser for the swim team was held at the adjoining beach club whose venue we use this past weekend. A day at the beach complete with food, a great band, super people, and my children who had the time of their lives was a fabulous way to spend a summer’s Saturday.

Helping out the swim team and having such a great time was a mess of Simple Joys all rolled into one!

There is always much good in finding the Simple Joys all around. For some weeks it takes concentration and a leap of faith to find Simple Joys. For other weeks Simple Joys sprinkle down like a summer rain that refreshes and renews.

Whether you write yours down like I do or simply think about them weekly, start recognizing the Simple Joys that populate your life and you’ll find they enhance your life and change your perspective for the better.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Media Blog-Summer Olympics Edition

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

The Summer Olympics are finally here! Open ceremonies start Friday and competition begins the following day. It has been four years since the last Summer Olympics (two since the Winter ones).

If you are like me you adore this competition. I get so excited to root for my country, learn about our athletes, and try to understand the rules and scoring of the many events.

This year, in addition to gymnastics, I will be concentrating on swimming as a spectator with my sons. They are both on a summer swim team and I want them to see the swimmers compete using the same strokes my boys use!

Over the decades movies have been made depicting Olympic storylines, scenes from Olympics, and some with former Olympic stars in the cast. This week’s focus is to list any and all movies that have some connection to Olympics be it winter or summer ones.

The movie can have a brief scene that shows Olympic activity, be set during the Olympics, is about fictitious Olympic athletes, or stars Olympic athletes in a major or bit role.

List the name of the movie, the stars of the film, and be sure to add a brief synopsis or review of the movie.

Please join me tomorrow for the uplifting and ever popular Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.