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Home Planet

Archive for November 2009

Giving Thanks for the Familiar Faces Around Me

Giving Thanks

By Cheryl-Anne Millsap

Special Correspondent to Pinch

I cook the same meal each Thanksgiving, by request, and seldom make any dramatic changes to the menu. So each November the house fills with the savory fragrance of our traditional meal. Sage, celery seed, pepper and onion in the Southern cornbread dressing. Cinnamon, brown sugar, pecans on top of the buttery sweet potatoes. The unmistakable aroma of roast turkey and fresh rolls.

The scents that surround us that day are comforting and familiar and pull each of us back in time. My children can close their eyes and connect the dots of their memories, recalling similar meals in different houses and cities.

Alone in the kitchen, a big yellow ware bowl and a faded recipe on the counter, I remember my own childhood, standing in my grandmother’s kitchen with my brother and sister, one of her aprons tied under my arms, a big mixing spoon in my hand, the house full of aunts, uncles and cousins who will gather around the big table in the dining room…

A Lean Year in the Land of Plenty

Two years ago, I wrote a column about a woman and her child in the grocery store. The little boy was misbehaving, begging and crying for every candy bar, toy and soda in the store. The mother, losing patience, was trying to get through to him that they didn’t have enough money for the extras. That was still one year away from the big crash. Now, after a year of record job losses and financial upsets, it’s hard to go to the grocery store and not see people we know who are in the same situation. Friends and colleagues who are now pinching pennies and looking for work.
I stopped by the grocery store again tonight. And remembered the woman and the little boy. So, I thought I would post it again.
November 26, 2007

Holidays remind us of our fragile world

Cheryl-anne Millsap
The Spokesman-Review

It’s always been my job to make sure we celebrate the holidays in a big way. So, last week one of my daughters and I made the traditional night before Thanksgiving trip to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for the big meal.

My daughter took half the list and I went off in search of the rest.

I was aware of another family, another mother and child, beside me. It was hard to miss them. The child was loud and – truth be told – a little obnoxious. He wanted everything he saw and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I listened to his mother explain, again and again, in a voice laced with irritation, why he was not going to get what he wanted. There just wasn’t enough money for anything but the basics, she told him. But he persisted…

The Beauty of Giving

November 19, 2009 in Columns

Putting a New Face on the Future

Makeup professional creates way to collect, share cosmetics
Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Down to Earth NW

People with new or gently used cosmetics are invited to donate them to Project Beauty Share, which makes the items available to women’s shelters.

For more information: The Make-up Studio: 216 North Bernard Spokane, WA 99201 Ph: 509.455.7430 Mon-Sat 9:30am - 5:30pm For more information about Julie Farley’s Project Beauty Share and to see a list of items you can donate visit

I use five products each morning when I put on my makeup. But to get to those five products, I have to rumble around in a drawer full of lipsticks, mascaras, eyeshadows and miracle lotions and potions.

The drawer is full of things I bought and then either didn’t use or didn’t use more than once or twice. But, because I paid for it, I don’t want to throw anything away.

In my linen closet there is a basket full of sample shampoos, lotions, soaps and other hotel-sized bottles picked up on my travels. Occasionally I’ll dip into the basket when someone goes to summer camp or we’re going to the beach, but whatever I take is always replenished by the next trip.

I’ve donated unused products to women’s missions and shelters before. But the products that had been opened just languished in the drawer.

Now, thanks to Project Beauty Share, slightly used makeup and other products can be put to good use again…

The Days Between Fall and Winter

The fall color has faded. And the snow hasn’t started falling in earnest. We’re in the in-between time of the year. The column below appeared in Pinch several weeks ago, just as the fall color was at its most beautiful…

Seasons Come and Go

11/04/09 Pinch 

By Cheryl-Anne Millsap

Special Correspondent to Pinch

These days, turning off the main road onto the street leading to my house is like driving straight into a tunnel of pure gold. A carpet of soft, curling leaves covers the asphalt and the canopy of maple, poplar and chestnut trees glows in the sunlight making it almost impossible to look away. So, I don’t. I slow down. I linger for a moment before getting out of the car. Once inside the front door I stop at the window. I don’t want to miss a minute of this…

Home Planet: One Frame at a time

11/11/09 Pinch

By Cheryl-Anne Millsap

Special Correspondent to Pinch

I know there are people who have every photo they’ve ever taken organized in scrapbooks, labeled with names, dates and cute captions. And, then there are people like me…

It’s good to be back!

I started the original Home Planet blog in 2004 when I was still a freelancer, and kept it going after joining the staff of the Spokesman-Review. But, by Sept 2006, I’d gotten a little blog-weary. I was also blogging about antiques and collectibles at Treasure Hunting at the time. A lot of things have changed since then. I left the Spokesman to take the position of editor at Spokane Metro Magazine. Now, I’m back. And so is Home Planet. This go around, the column appears in the weekly Pinch supplement. But it’s still my voice. I’m looking forward to blogging again and keeping in touch with readers. So, welcome home. Welcome back to my Home Planet

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About this blog

Cheryl-Anne Millsap's Home Planet column appears each week in the Wednesday "Pinch" supplement. Cheryl-Anne is a regular contributor to Spokane Public Radio and her essays can be heard on Public Radio stations across the country. She is the author of "Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons."

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