Monthly Archives: December 2016

Magnetic Poetry Saturday – 31 December 2016

It’s been a long disturbing year. Wish I could imagine 2017 being better, but 2016’s downward spiral seems to be gaining momentum.  Hoping for the best…remembering to breathe and wishing you peace and love to sustain you for the next chapter. 

i do not have the heart or desire
to celebrate this long night by drinking
warm champagne and kissing the lips
of fools who dance away the end of time
it will not make things any less broken
i’ll do good if i can remember to breathe

kat ~ 31 December 2016

For Elusive Trope’s Magnetic Poetry Saturday. 

Seasoning – Part 22


“Reading the Letter” by Thomas Benjamin Kennington

Henry folded the letter and slipped it back into envelope. He would share it with Hannah tomorrow. How lovely Alice had been to him all those years knowing what she knew. He settled into bed feeling a peace he had never known, and he realized too, that Alice was finally at peace. He no longer felt her hovering presence. “She is really gone,” he thought.

Shades of warm of amber streamed into Hannah’s room gently rousing her as morning broke. She freshened up and dressed before going into the kitchen to start breakfast. To her surprise, Henry was standing at the stove stirring pot of something delicious. The aroma of toasting bread wafted from the oven and coffee was percolating on the stove.

“Good morning Hannah. I hope you’re hungry.”

“I’m sorry. Did I oversleep?”

“No, no, not at all. I was up early, craving coffee. Once I got here, I decided to start breakfast. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Of course not. I take it you slept well then?”

“Yes ma’am, I did. Now take a seat. I’ll bring you some coffee. I have something to show you.”

“Really, it’s not necessary for you to serve me Henry.”

“Sit!” Henry ordered playfully.

Hannah sat down at the small kitchen table nearby and watched him pour coffee. “What has gotten into him?” she wondered.

Henry set the cup on the table in front of her and reached into his pocket, removing a folded envelope. He leaned over kissing her gently on the top of her head as he handed it to her.

“This is for you, Hannah.”

Hannah crinkled her brow and flashed a questioning scowl toward Henry.

He smiled, “Drink your coffee and read it Hannah.”

“But…where…who is it from? I don’t recall a postal delivery this week.”

“That’s because it didn’t come by post.” Henry was clearly enjoying this. “It’s from Alice…”he paused to allow what he had just said to sink in, “…to you Hannah.”

“What? I don’t think I heard you correctly. Did you say the letter is from Alice? Your Alice?”

“I did indeed. I know it sounds crazy, and I wouldn’t believe it myself if it hadn’t happened to me, but I saw her in my room last night Hannah. I saw Alice. We talked, just like we are talking now. She told me about the letter. Told me where to find it. Please read it Hanna, while I finish making our breakfast. It will all make sense to you when you do.”

“I’m not sure about that. Nothing makes sense to me this morning.”

“You do trust me, don’t you Hannah?”

“Well…that toast smells a bit overly toasty…” Hannah grinned mischievously.

“Oh good god!” Henry rushed to the oven removing the toast in the nick of time.

Hannah burst into laughter, took a sip of coffee, and settled into her chair as she opened the envelope, removing the hand-written letter.

Dearest Lady,

You and I have not had the good fortune to meet, but I know you. If you are reading this, then I am certain that our beloved Henry is the common cord that binds our hearts. As impossible as it may sound, I sensed that my time in this life would be short, but I was comforted by the fact that you and he would find each other one day

Hannah looked up at Henry who was busy at the stove, his back to her. She returned to the letter.

I’m sure you must be wondering how I could possibly know you; know about you. Please let me explain. Over my years with Henry, there were little signs. Now you mustn’t think that I ever wanted for anything or felt unloved as his wife. Henry was a wonderful husband in every way. But he suffered from the most distressing dreams. As I lay next to him night after night, I would listen to him calling out for you. He promised to find you again. Sometimes he cried over his inability to save you.  

Eventually I came to the conclusion that you were real somewhere. It was the only thing that made sense.  I truly believe that you and Henry have been together in another lifetime. I dont know if you believe in such a thing, I didnt either. But the details Henry shared as he spoke in his sleep were so vivid; so heartbreaking. I gathered that there had been a flood and that you had been mortally injured. It always ended the same way, with you slipping away from him as he expressed his eternal love for you, crying out, “I will always love you.”

Hannah’s heart raced causing her face to flush. Tears welled in her eyes. How could Alice know this? She read on.

When we were first married, I felt jealous of you. But as the years passed I became accustomed to your presence in Henry’s dreams and occasionally, in deja-vu moments that would sweep him away to another place and time.

When I became ill, I knew I needed to write this letter to you to let you know that I am so happy that Henry has finally found you. I am convinced that you and he have traveled through eternity to find each other. 

Be happy my dear. Trust your instincts. Love Henry with all your heart and with my blessings. He has dreamed of you for a lifetime.

Yours truly,


The room grew silent. Henry had finished plating breakfast and turned to see Hannah clutching the letter, tears running down her cheeks. “Are you alright Hanna?”he asked softly.

“Oh Henry, this whole thing seems unbelievable and yet, a part of me knows that this…” she held the letter up, “…that all of this is true. It gives me hope that maybe I’m not crazy after all,” she sighed, “or maybe I am!”

“You’re not crazy Hannah. I had no idea Alice knew all of this, or even that she wrote the letter, until last night. When our conversation turned to my brother and Alice at dinner lat night a wave of guilt overtook me. That is why I left so abruptly. I was thinking about the past and about Alice. Please forgive me. The truth is, I love you Hannah and I believe I have loved you, and you have love me too, for a very long time.”

“I do Henry. I love you too.”

“But Hannah, the most important question at the moment is this: do you love me enough to eat my cooking?” Henry chuckled, placing a plate in front of her.

“Well, I’m afraid I may have to think about that…” Hannah burst into uproarious laughter, joined by Henry whose chuckle swelled into full snorting guffaws as he wrapped his arms around her.

From the entranceway a familiar, bellowing voice interrupted their gaiety. “Well now, what is this I’m hearing? Am I in the wrong house?”

Staring wide-eyed, in each others arms, at their uninvited guest as she bounded into the kitchen, Henry and Hannah blushed as they exclaimed in unison, “Helen!”


This is installment 22 of an ongoing series. To read previous chapters click HERE and scroll to the series called Seasoning.  Thanks as always to Jane Dougherty for the initial inspiration for this story.

Senectitude – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku – 30 December 2016


Happy Friday! Today’s word of the day is another one that I had never heard of…Senectitude. It is decidedly old world as revealed in its etymology summary:

Senectitude comes from the Medieval Latin noun senectitūdō meaning “old age,” which in turn comes from Classical Latin senectūs, a derivative of the noun senex meaning “old man.” Senectitude entered English in the late 1700’s, more precisely, in 1796 in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

A search on the internet for more information does not return much in the way of its modern use, but, here’s a fun fact…if you spend too much time in Google looking for the word “senectitude” you will begin to see an assortment of senior-focused advertisements: insurance, nursing homes, Alzheimer’s medications, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence remedies and “adult” vacation destinations. Who knew approaching senectitude could be so perilous and so fun!

But it is rather creepy isn’t it? The truth is that there is nothing secret or private anymore, especially if you have an online footprint. Your computer’s Network ID precedes you. If you tell your deepest secrets to Siri, Cortana, Alexa or any one of a growing number of intelligent bots, you may be lulled by their friendly, soothing voices, but do not be deceived. They will betray you in a heartbeat somewhere in the matix.

So I suppose I am branded now. Greedy businesses will begin clamoring for my attention and my dollar, with promises of an array of products offering to make me feel young again, or at least make my impending senectitude comfortable.  Hopefully, this latest trend on my computer’s feed will phase out quickly and on to the next product du jour. I’m a baby-boomer. I know I’m headed toward senectitude. I just don’t need to be reminded.

Here’s a bit of haiku to lighten the mood. 😉

It’s an advantage
to bare one’s senectitude
for senior discounts!

Sixty as forty
delays one’s senectitude
and retirement.

kat ~ 30 December 2016


Photo by Zara Walker

For a brief moment, as she had done for thousands of years, god revealed herself to humanity, placing another star in the moonless night sky.

She is not at all what one might expect; a child bundled in an overcoat wearing golashes, but it is the expression on her face, her all-knowing eyes and her warm understanding smile that convinces some people to believe.

God knows we are a stubborn lot, as evidenced by the twinkling, diamond-bedazzled firmament, but she continues to show us how loved we are by leaving a trail of stardust to guide us home.

kat – 29 December 2016

For Sonya’s Three Line Tale Challenge, inspired by the photo above by Zara Walker.

Kat’s Portobello Reuben’s  

I love Reuben’s. It has always been my go-to blue plate lunch special order. Since I stopped eating meat, this is one of the dishes I missed…that is, until I heard about portobello reubens.

So I decided to look for a recipe online. The thing is, most of the recipes I found were lacking in my opinion, in the corned beef flavor department. So I got this crazy idea. What if I used the pickling spice that is used to make corned beef and made a marinade out of it?

I like experimenting in the kitchen. And believe me I would not be sharing this recipe with you if it was a dud. The fact is it came out fantastic!

It takes a bit of prep, but so worth the effort!

Here’s what you’ll need for part one (do this a few hours before mealtime).


4-5 large portobello mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS pickling spice (McCormick brand)

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, rinse and pat dry. In a small bowl whisk the remaining ingredients together and drizzle over the mushroom caps, bottom side up, in a shallow container.

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for two to three hours. (Update: Added after I cooked the leftover mushrooms a few days later…if you can marinate for at least 24 hours, you won’t regret it.) 

When it’s time to put your sandwiches together assemble the following ingredients:

Thousand Island Dressing


Rye Bread (I like a rye/pumpernickel swirl)

Swiss Cheese

Butter for Grilling

Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees F. Remove the marinated mushrooms from the fridge and recycle the foil by placing it on a cookie sheet. Place mushrooms on the foil bottoms up and bake for about 20 minutes.

  1. Move to a plate layered with paper towels and blot the mushrooms (remove the large pickling seeds as well) before transferring them to a cutting board to slice. (Part 2 leftover update: to give your slices a nicer texture, pan seer the slices before putting your sandwiches together. A little “crisping” around the edges make a big difference!)

Butter the outer side of the rye bread and place butter side down in a frying pan (think grilled cheese sandwich style). Now it’s time to assemble your Reuben. Layer two slices if Swiss cheese, portabella mushroom slices (make sure to pat dry if needed), add Sauerkraut and a layer of thousand island dressing. Top with the second slice of rye bread, butter side up.

Cover the pan and grill until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom is brown. Carefully flip to toast the other side.

Slice and serve. Yum!

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