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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fresh spinach dishes would make even Popeye proud

The only spinach I knew as a child came from a small white carton in the deep freezer. Mom would dump the frozen leaves into a pot of boiling water and serve them with lemon juice. I liked the tart juice; the slimy spinach, I hated. Flash forward 40 years.

Front Porch: Chicken, egg stories incubate responses

Henrietta stares balefully at me from her perch next to my printer. I think she knows I’m writing about her and her feathered friends. Last month, I wrote a column about my husband’s previously unexpressed longing to be a chicken-owner. I believe I may have vowed to fly the coop if Derek brought home any poultry.

Front Porch: Soldier left a lasting impression

His face stared out me from the photo album. Dark hair with straight bangs falling across huge green eyes. A goofy grin and a Nintendo controller clutched in his hands. Taking a sharp breath, I blinked rapidly as my eyes filled with tears. He looked so much like my son Alex they could have been twins.

Front Porch: Husband’s chicken plan for the birds

On Saturday, Derek and I will celebrate our 28th anniversary. You’d think after all these years together, I’d know him quite well, but he can still surprise me. In fact, this week he made an announcement at the dinner table that has left me shaken. Our son mentioned that the neighbor across the street had acquired several chickens.

Meatloaf recipe that pleases everyone

My 4-year-old son sat at the table, arms folded across his chest, a mutinous scowl radiating his displeasure. Glaring at the plate in front of him, he growled, “Meatlope. I HATE meatlope!” Honestly, I didn’t blame him. Even a healthy dosing of ketchup couldn’t make the dry crumbling loaf any more palatable.

Front Porch: Reader feedback illuminates light bulb phase out

It appears my column on the light bulb phase out flipped a few switches in the Spokane area. The calls and emails that came in response to the column revealed readers on both sides of the lighting spectrum – those who embrace the government-mandated switch and those who are upset about losing their incandescent glow.

Front Porch: In the dark on light bulb phase-out

The clickety clack sound of my fingers flying over the keyboard filled my home office as I sat hunched over my desk racing against another looming deadline. I glanced down at my notes and then it happened. The room went dark.

Front Porch: Seahawks fan from head to painted toes

Some people wear their dedication to their teams on their sleeves, sporting jerseys and jackets with team colors and logos. Some folks fly their pride from their flagpoles, car antennas or Clocktowers with billowing banners showing support. I thought about that last week as I sat in the pedicure chair of a local salon, while a nail technician painted my toenails Seahawks green and blue. Only four letters separate fan from fanatic, but despite my Seahawks pedicure I don’t think I’m quite ready to add those letters.

Front Porch: Veterans’ life stories mattered

I read something recently that I can’t seem to shake. Something I’ve pondered much at the dawn of this new year. It’s from the book “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates.” The author quotes an officer from the military academy he attended who was stepping down from his post to undergo treatment for advanced cancer. The officer said, “When it is time for you to leave this school, leave your job, or even leave this earth, you make sure you have worked hard enough to make sure it mattered you were ever here.”

Front Porch: Meltdown of Christmas past a good reminder

In the annals of Hval holiday lore, one story is guaranteed to get trotted out each Christmas. My children call it, “Mom’s Christmas Tree Meltdown.” I call it, “Too Many Children, Not Enough Tree,” but whatever its title, the tale marks an embarrassingly Grinch-like episode in my holiday history. My family finds the story hilarious. I do not. The exact year of this event is unclear, but I think our sons were 4, 6 and 8 because they all remember it. Thankfully, Sam was not yet born, so he didn’t witness the debacle.

Front Porch: Critiquing Christmas carols filled with peril

First, let me be perfectly clear. I do not hate John Lennon. Just because I opined that “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is one of the worst Christmas songs ever, does not make me a Lennon-hater – or worse a Beatles-basher. I also loathe “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” but no one has accused me of being a hippo-hater. Yet.

Front Porch: Sometime relaxing is easier said than done

Clenching the steering wheel, I muttered while the tractor in front of me slowly puttered. A quick glance at the clock on my dash confirmed my fear – I was going to be late for my relaxing getaway at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort. The muscles in my neck tightened, my jaw clenched – the masseuse would have her work cut out for her.

Front Porch: Remembering Charlie Parsons

Tears came easily to him. Mostly tears of joy and gratitude. He was often beaming while his eyes filled. Some folks wear their hearts on their sleeves, but Charlie Parsons’ heart was reflected in his eyes. On Oct. 25, Charlie, 88, died unexpectedly. Spokane lost a renowned horticulturist and florist, teacher, civic leader and an incredibly gentle man.

Front Porch: No kids? No reason to bail on Halloween

Sweat and saliva streaked down my face. The plastic mask stuck to sticky places as I tried to take shallow breaths through the tiny nostril holes. Death via suffocation seemed imminent, but I didn’t care. I’d achieved my heart’s desire – a store-bought Halloween costume. No makeshift hobo costume cribbed from my brothers’ clothing for me. This was it. The real deal. A shimmery satin dress and a Cinderella mask, complete with crown. I may have won the costume war, but I lost the battle of the boots.

Nothing Bundt Cakes gives cake its due

Cake lovers rejoice. Nothing Bundt Cakes, a national chain, has opened its first Spokane franchise and is celebrating with a grand opening on Saturday. Although the bakery on 29th Avenue is the first store in Washington, Nothing Bundt Cakes has deep Spokane roots: Co-founder Debbie Schwetz is a 1975 Lewis and Clark High School graduate and still has family in the area.

Front Porch: Cats continue adding fun to the home

Reader feedback regarding my foray into political analysis (“One parent’s humble fix for Congress,” Oct. 3) has been decidedly mixed with the majority of emails chiding me for my less than serious take on the government shutdown. You might think I’d be dismayed by this chilly reception. You might imagine that I’d scurry back to safer topics like autumn leaves or little boys. You’d be wrong.

Front Porch: One parent’s humble fix for Congress

Longtime readers know I don’t wade into politics in this column. I let others do the dirty work of calling out corruption, explaining political policy and making fun of Joe Biden. Me? I stick to vital topics like cats, kids and underwear.