Summer Chicken & pomegranate salad

Ingredients

• 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

• 1 cup arugula

• 9 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced

• 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

• 8 red grape/cherry tomatoes, halved

• 8 gold grape tomatoes, halved • 1/2 avocado, sliced

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Red Wine Vinaigrette

:• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar • 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard • 2 cloves crushed garlic

• 4 tablespoons water • salt, to taste

Directions

Step 1

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake to combine. Step 2

Arrange all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

The grumpy pharmacist

Upon arriving home, a husband was met at the door by his sobbing wife.Tearfully she explained, “It’s the pharmacist. He insulted me terribly Morning on the phone. I had to call multiple times before he would answer the phone.”Immediately, the husband drove down town to confront the chemist and an apology.Before he could say more than a word or two, the chemist told him, “Just A minute, listen to my side of it. This morning the alarm failed to go Off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out To the car, just to realize that I’d locked the house with both house And car keys inside and had to break a window to get my keys.””Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire.””When I finally got to the store a bunch of people were waiting for me To open. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, all Time the darn phone was ringing.”He continued, “Then I had to break a roll of coins against the cash Drawer to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I Had to get down on my hands and knees to pick up the coins and the phone Was still ringing. When I came up I cracked my head on the open cash Drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of Perfume bottles on it. Half of them hit the floor and broke””Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got Back to answer it. It was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a Rectal thermometer.””Believe me mister, as God is my witness, all I did was tell her.”

Cotton Candy

I figured it was time to write about a different kind of cotton. You know I pick on cotton picking nit pickers a lot. Well this is fair time in lot of places in the country. County fairs, state fairs, fairs here, fairs there. You always see people with this cotton picking cotton candy. Looks sticks like. Messy even. 

Now I remember mother telling many a time.. This works both ways. I got told the story many a time. She and her brothers and sister went to this fair of sorts many a time I guess. 

Any ways I got to give you a bit of location of all this. They lived in the little town of Thayer, Missouri. That is on the very edge of Missouri. A hop skip and jump is Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. Now I can come up with a couple stories here. But lets take care of the fair first. If we got time we could get into the other one. 

Some time in August I guess, not sure. The people of Mammoth Springs has a what is called, “Old Settlers Fair” or something like that. There is also a train that runs from Springfield through these villages then on south. Well it also runs the other way too. Back in those days. 1915 and so, the train ran north at midnight. Cost the whole sum of one dime to ride train from Mammoth to Thayer. A trip of a couple miles as the road goes. That kind of hilly there. Road makes a couple twists and turns. 

Now best I remember the story. Should remember I heard it from all of them except a couple. That would be Homer for one. He was the oldest, he died when I was a baby, and I think maybe one other never told me the story. Grandmother was dirt poor. But she could scrape up a dime for each kid. That may have been a total of 50 cents. Five kids went if the two oldest didn’t go. They would have been 17 and 15, there abouts. 

Any ways here goes the tribe. All hot footing it down the couple miles to Springs. One thin dime in hot hand. They may have had a bread sandwich to eat. That would be about it. One dime though. They spent the whole day looking the shows over, that is the outside of the show, can’t spend the dime you know. They would give any thing for a drink of something cool, can’t spend the dime you know. They sure would like to try out the cotton candy, can’t spend the dime, you know. They just did a lot of walking, looking, and got told move on kid you not spending a dime, move on.

At midnight those that still had a dime in hot hand rode the train back home. I think that would be all of them. They knew better then spend that one thin dime on cotton candy.

Now I said I had another story. It is also a sad story. And maybe I should keep quite about it. But I think it shows how slow change comes about. We like to say this would have never happened. But I have had this told to me a few times. At Mammoth Springs was a lot of people of color. At Thayer none. On the railroad station at Thayer was a sign. I will let you figure what the sign said. It wasn’t too nice. The sign is no longer there. 

Back to cotton candy. I too have never tried the stuff. I wonder if i should?? No it’s nothing but sugar fluffed up with air. Think I will pass on it. 


Bill Walker

A Special Mourning Dove Was Her Source of Comfort and Hope-Jeannie Hughes

“Look!” I said to my husband, Roger, pointing to the budding purple wisteria branches. “The mourning doves have built a nest!” As I watched the gray doves take turns coming and going in shifts to sit on their eggs, the waves of grief I still felt over my son Steven’s death three years earlier came less frequently. Here in our backyard was yet another of God’s reminders that he would always be there to reassure and comfort me.

But then on a chilly April day, we watched aghast as a hawk swooped down and took one of the doves, and by the next morning the other parent was gone too. Roger clambered up a ladder to take a peek into the nest. Was it possible the hawk had spared the young? Yes, there sat a newly hatched baby dove! We brought him inside and set up the nesting box with the heat lamps we had used for raising chickens. Then we rushed to the pet shop to buy the formula needed to mimic the mother’s milk. But even with our care and prayers, we knew that the dove’s chances were slim. We were especially worried that our little bird, whom we’d christened Hawkeye, hardly cooed at all. That had to be a bad sign.

But to our surprise, Hawkeye not only survived but also thrived. Within a month, he was able to stand on the rim of a bowl and eat out of a baby spoon, and before we knew it, he was pecking at the seeds we gave him. Having the opportunity to nurture this new life brought me a greater measure of peace with each passing day.

As Hawkeye grew, we noticed that unlike all the other doves in our yard, he had a double breast with a line dividing it. When I did some research on mourning doves, I found out that females don’t often coo.

“We got it all wrong,” I told Roger. “Hawkeye is a girl!”

We realized that as Hawkeye’s surrogate parents, we’d have to teach her to fly. First, we urged her to fly from a finger to the bottom rung of a six-foot ladder, and in no time she was zipping to the top. She lit out for the kitchen whenever she heard the click of the spoon on her bowl.

By mid-June she’d gained full confidence in her wings, so we knew it was time to set our Hawkeye free. We took her outside, but she only fluttered about the yard, even when we left her and went back inside. My heart broke as she watched us through the window, the warm wind ruffling her feathers. Finally, after several minutes, she flew to the wisteria and then took off into the sky. I started to cry. Would I ever see my mourning dove again?

As the months rolled by into fall and winter, the grief that had been held at bay returned more strongly. God had given me a new purpose, a new life to nurture, but now that Hawkeye was gone, I felt bereft. I often stared out the back window, hoping to catch just a glimpse of her. “If I could only see her one more time,” I told Roger, “I’d know everything would be okay.”I had nearly given up hope, but one May morning, two doves landed on the deck rail. The smaller one bore Hawkeye’s distinctive chest markings. She had not only returned, but she’d also brought her mate with her! They built a nest on the very same wisteria branch where Hawkeye had been born. Several weeks later we watched Hawkeye feed her own two babies. And every time she soared into the sky, I felt my own heart soar with her—light, unburdened and filled with Gods grace.

A WONDERFUL GIFT- Melisa Shreve

I cherish the memories I have of my grandparents. I often find myself traveling back in time longing for just one More moment, one more, “I love you”, one last kiss, one more hug. In my mind’s eye I’m in the kitchen learning from well worn Hands how to cook a roast beef and make the perfect deviled eggs. I’m sitting at the table eating the best homemade chocolate meringue Pie I’ve ever eaten and eating it until my stomach hurts. I’m Playing Wa-hoo or Skip-Bo, laughing at funny stories until my sides Ache and rarely winning the competitive game at hand. I’m taking Bubble baths in a sunken tub — sometimes 3 of them in one day! I’m sitting under the awning in the backyard, swinging and Enjoying a nice summer day, watching the dog chase his tail, talking About family that have long passed. I’m studying my grandmother’s Face in the bathroom mirror watching as she meticulously puts on her Make-up and wonder how she can make perfect eyebrows with her skinny Eyebrow pencil and wonder still why it takes so long for one person To get ready just for a quick run into town. I’m helping her make the bed and learning how to do it just Right. I’m listening to her yodel in the car and I try not to laugh. I’m in the kitchen washing her hair, giving her a perm, and wonder How she can stand my rarely tested “beauty shop” efforts. I’m secretly digging through the drawers in her bathroom until I Find her wrinkle and freckle creams, and I put them on my freckled Face, hoping one day I will be as beautiful as she is. I put drops Of her perfume on my neck because she smells better than anyone I’ve Ever known. Although, I would guess she always knew what I was up To, she never said a word. I see myself outside turning cartwheels in the grass and I’m Admiring a perfectly manicured lawn. I’m spending the dollar my papa Gave me on nothing but candy. I’m chasing butterflies in their Flower garden, without a care in the world, knowing all the while I’m Forever loved through their words, actions, and yes even discipline. As my children come into the world, I joyously see the love my Grandparents give them. I am amazed at my grandparents’ patience With my children as they crawl up in the middle of their dining room Table and eat my grandmother’s homemade hot sauce or dig into their Closet to walk around in shoes that are much too big. But, instead Of a scolding, it’s a laugh and a hug — memories to be tucked away And talked about again and again. I’m watching them grow older and more frail now, and I know one Day I will have to face life without them and I don’t want to go There. Not today. So I crawl up in their king-sized bed just to Snuggle one last time, because I know the time is coming and nothing Can prepare me for the grief that is ahead. I study the lines on their faces and memorize the look of their Sweet wrinkled hands because one day I will want to remember and Never forget those wonderful faces, those precious voices, those Sweet kisses, those tender hands. I will want to relive the memories And I often do. Traveling back in time is a bittersweet experience, because Taking that wonderful walk through my past always leads me to the Painful reality that those days are forever gone. I can’t physically Go back there. It’s a journey of my heart and in my mind. It’s not A place where I can live, but a wonderful place to visit and remember — a sweet sanctuary. A place of joy and unconditional love. God has given us a wonderful gift called memories. We make them And then we can travel back in time and visit those places of joy and Relive them again and again. It can be an escape from a cruel world And sometimes it’s a path of healing as we grieve our loved ones and Remember the sweet times we’ve had together. Sometimes we can even find forgiveness there. It’s a place, Lord willing, that I am creating and will create for my children and Grandchildren one day. So I thank you God, for the gift of my grandparents. I thank You for the lessons they have taught me, the love they have given me And my family, and their memory that will stay in my heart forever. — Melisa Shreve