Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

Happy New Years to all and my sincere wish that you prosper this year.  Today's slice includes a small and quaint celebration for ringing in the New Year.  Our family tradition is simple.  Rent as many movies as we can stand and watch movies until the witching hour arrives. Most of us last the duration, but some of us (Corvette Man in particular) folds early.

Tonight our food fare is simple and requires little preparation, due to the fact I spent the majority of my day at a job.  One of these days my job will be at home (I have said this for twenty five years, when will I concede to the bitter truth?)   Regardless, I love veggy dip and cheese, wonderful cheese.  Tonight we have a wedge of gouda.  I would have loved to have some brie with it, but my family is totally unimpressed by wonder soft cheeses.  I make carrots with ranch dip for me.  If anyone else likes it, whoppee!  Do I see onions on that plate?  I love onions.  It's a good thing I'm hanging with family tonight. Chips and dip round out the edibles, an easy prep for all.

This has to be quick as the celebration awaits.

Happy New Year and the Lord bless you all!!

Love Jeannene

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A sustaining slice in our lives is our heat source.

When Corvette Man and I built our home, we designed it without central heat or air. Our intent was to simplify our lives; you have no idea. For heat, Corvette Man told me to find a wood stove, any wood stove of my choosing. With that mandate in my clutches, I searched the Internet far and wide for the perfect wood stove for our home. Functionality was a must, but I wanted it to be pleasingly aesthetic. Wood stoves were foreign beings to me, never having lived in the country before or had any need for a wood stove, but I didn't shrink from my duty. Actually, I leaped willingly into the endeavor. Numerous were the choices at my disposal. I was amazed.

My research unearthed the Heritage brand soap stone stove. These stoves were manufactured of heavy painted iron with soap stone insets. A very sturdy design with great functionality. Some were designed with a clear glass door in the front, a door at the side, or in the rear, whatever was required, the company could accommodate. The choices were varied and diverse. Everything I read indicated this was the premier brand and would serve our needs well. I balked at the price, though. If you knew me at all, you would know I balk at anything pricey (That doesn't mean I won't dole out the dough. I do enjoy the finer things in life just like the next girl. I'm just a little cheap). I wasn't sure we would be able to afford it. We were still buying materials to finish the house.

That fall, Oct 05, Corvette Man drove us all into the big city, in the 1 ton truck, to visit a premier wood stove vendor. They had everything I had researched. Pellet stoves, plain wood stoves in all sizes and .... Heritage stoves. They were even more stunning in real life. I was in awe. Corvette Man told me to pick out my stove.

Really? I can really have one of these?

If this is what you want, find one that will work. We're taking it home today.


My first choice was an aqua blue painted stove, but it didn't quite fit the interior motif of our little home. I settled on a 21 in brown stove with a clear glass front door and a solid side door. The whole thing was beautiful. The store loaded into the back of our pickup. We had no trouble getting it home. When we went to unload it, that was another story. The stove weighed 500 lbs!

Corvette Man was not to be out weighed. He unloaded that sucker, with the help of our two strapping sons, all without raising a single hernia.

It sits in our living room year round providing an artistic flair to our rustic motif and bathing us with its warmth during the winter months. I love this stove. My desk sits next to it and I am never cold when I bask near it. It truly is hefty slice of heaven.

Love Jeannene

Monday, December 28, 2009

Who I Am

I am Jeannene Walker. I live with my husband, two of our remaining four children, eight cats, seven horses, a dog a bunch of chickens on a small farm in Central Arkansas. We raise thoroughbred horses and race them - sometimes. That in itself is a slice of heaven. We have a new baby due this spring and I will be chronicling its birth and development - the most fun of all!!

I am fulfilling a dream I have had since I was nine. It took going through Mr. Wrong to find Mr. Right, and have him bring me to the place my heart always knew would be heaven. I want to share the silly every day treasures that make my life a joy. It doesn't mean it isn't hectic and tiring, but I love where we live and how we live it.

Our twenty acres has a small home we built ourselves - the most engagingly hard and rewarding project a family could ever undertake. It is truly a slice of heaven everyday I come home from work, which is an hour drive into the big city and an hour drive back. Most people would balk at the trek; not me. Any price to pay is worth it to live where we live. Our home is singularly unique and I hope to share it with you in small slices.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much I will enjoy sharing it with you.

Love Jeannene

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Today's slice included a fresh loaf of banana bread and a tasty cheesy potato casserole from scratch. I have to say, I didn't set out to make a casserole, but my 16 yr old shamed me into adding the cheese from yesterday's dish to the hash browns I was cooking. The result was the tastiest breakfast we have had since the Cracker Barrel - this was even better!

I am practicing with photos in this blog. These are a rough draft, but I'll get there.

We are keeping warm today to a fire in the wood stove and the kerosene heater as back up. It is cold in Arkansas today. As I write, a corned beef is cooking in the dutch oven on the stove. The aroma is to die for. I wish for all of you the same sense of contentment I have and your own piece of heaven.

Bless you all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Favorite Pastime

Our second oldest son is visiting this weekend from Mississippi, giving me a perfect excuse to cook - my most favorite pastime (besides eating). I made two awesome dishes coated in cheese. Cheese is the gift of the gods. One was a macaroni and cheese dish that was to die for and the other was eggplant Parmesan -flavorful and vegitarian for my daughter who finds meat too heavy to eat. Sated hunger and a warm fire in the wood stove and we are experiencing our piece of heaven.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Well today is Christmas.

Despite my warnings about a rapid dip in temperature, we opted not to light a fire last night and alas, the house was a chilly 54 degrees when I crept out from under the warmth next to my dear husband. A kerosene heater helped as I readied myself for work. They will have to light a fire later this morning.

The winter weather blowing through the midwest states managed to bypass central Arkansas. A blessing I assure you. At four thirty in the morning though, the icy winds on top of nine inches of water proved to much for us when my husband fought with a frozen lock at our gate. You can't imagine the frustration of being a prison on your own farm but for only one tiny piece of equipment - a lock. Deicer and a hammer remedied the situation and I was finally on my way to work.

My hubby called later this morning to inform me the house was warmed by the heat of a wonderful fire and the kids will be attending a showing of Avatar this afternoon. That will leave the house to just the two of us. I can't wait. We have few private moments as it is.

Happy Holidays to all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

End of Week Relief

This week has been a mad rush. Rush to what I'm not entirely sure, but a rush all the same. My efforts to keep up the daily word count on the western historical I'm working on has fallen horribly short of its goal.

Monday was spent backpedalling to locate documentation for registering the horses for items I should have taken care of at the beginning of the year; validating my inadequacy as a secretary in the horse department. Thank God they had all their Jockey Club papers in order.

Wednesday our daughter ventured into the barn wearing unauthorized foot wear and emerged with a gaping gash across the top of her right foot; the result of contact with a vicious piece of sheet metal. Needless to say, the local emergency room consumed the remainder of our evening. I must comment,though, as far as ER visits are concerned, that was good one; we were out of there in an hour and a half - will miracles never cease?

Thursday found me relinquishing my laptop to our son for a school paper, a project that consumed most of the evening. Now granted, as a household with two teenagers another computer should be available, but if you saw the space in which we reside, you would understand a solitary computer is all we have space for. I was able to at least log about one hundred words into the nineth chapter, but my hero and heroine continue to grapple with recent tragedy in their lives, making little progress in the healing process. Tonight, though, we will move on!

Now to address the events of the season. The Walker family does not participate in 'Christmas', considering it a a misguided attempt of Constantine to the enfold the entire populace into one catholic church by renaming Saturnalia as the birthday of christ. Our hebraic roots teach us the Messiah was born in the fall at the time of Feast of Tabernacles. This winter season includes the Feast of Dedication or Channuka. The lighting of the candles has held our attention for the past seven nights. Sadly tonight is the last night of the holiday, yet it will be the brightest as nine candles can illuminate a space quite brilliantly.

Writing this has helped me put my busy week into its proper perspective and the outlet of put words to paper has helped me fulfill that need to record events. I feel so much better.

Happy Holidays everyone.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just A Note

It has been weeks since my last post. I cannot express the amount of guilt I harbor about not writing at this forum more often. My only excuse is I haven't made the time for it. For some reason the book I have in progress pulls me into its grasp and I don't want to let it go.

Much has transpired over the past two months. My training as a writer has progressed and my experience widened. I attended three small conferences from which I gleaned countless valuable morsels of knowledge. At one conference one of my short stories won fourth place - Yeah! I really liked that story and there were tons of talented writers submitting excellent stories. That gave me an immense confidence boost and it showed my husband my work finds some value in the eyes of a complete stranger.

At another conference one story won FIRST place! That was no doubt a huge milestone for me. I knew that story really was well written and someone else thought so too. I have been spurred on to more challenging projects. I only hope I will devote more time to them. It only depends on me.

Shalom Alechem

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Alas, I have been remiss about my postings. I have spent time on short stories for a couple of contests lately, leaving me little energy or desire to write here. Work is work, but my imagination continues to flourish. I have spent time on the new book and it is shaping up well. The old book is going through a few revisions before it is entered in the Golden Heart.

We are now in the throws of the High Holy Days. Yom Kippur is past, leaving us the most joyous celebration of Sukkot. The succah will be erected by the end of next week and I hope to have an awesome menu in the works. I love Sukkot. It is my favorite season.

This will be short. Dinner beckons and my 12 yr old is relentless in matters of the stomach

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer's End

It has been at least two weeks since my last post. Unforgivable. Though, what crime really has been committed? No one follows my rants with any clear dedication. My two days off from work this week have been spent in the bed. I seem to be experiencing a relapse of the ailment that, two weeks ago, confined me to the same bed. I only know recovery is dire. I am required to work this weekend and I will be present come hell or high water. Only death is permitted to prevent us from calling in on a weekend day.

The summer draws to a close as the first day of school creeps ever closer. A blessing. The joy of spending time with two teen agers, the bickering and snide remarks, are at last coming to an end and my days off will be in blessed solitude until the 3 o'clock bell. Alas, there are some disadvantageous consequences. The pristine state of the house will fall to its usual disarray without the diligent attention of my 13 year. She has learned maintaining cleanliness requires constant devotion. That doesn't begin to over shadow her ability to place a well prepared meal on the table. I will be hard pressed to follow in her wake. Alas my dedication to nightly meals has sadly waned since I changed our eating habits.

At any rate, we press on to the end of summer. Hot, sweet summer. It warmth will still pervade for at least a couple more months. Wonderful summer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sick Day

I am playing hooky today. I came down with some horrible bug yesterday. If you want my opinion, I believe the air conditioning at work has contributed to my ailment. The air blowing on me in that department is frigid and conducive to sickness. Enough complaining.

Sunday I pulled the first real veggies out of my garden - beautiful bell peppers and summer squash as well as a few green chilies! Granted, this is late in the season to be just now reaping the rewards of a garden, but the weather prevented me from planting as early as I usually do. The tomatoes are even farther behind the curve. My first plants were initially eaten by some hunger deer. It was the end of May before the final plants made their way into the ground. I finally have green tomatoes on the vines and plenty of blooms! Arkansas has been experiencing unusually high amounts of rainfall, which greatly contributes to the growing season of late season tomatoes. Hurray!

I finally submitted a valid formatted contest entry for a book contest. My original document contained some unusual formatting imported from a document at work. At any rate, it really messed the whole thing up, but I prevailed and fixed it and now have a valid submission to my first contest. Pleased as punch.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Skunk Buster

This post is dedicated to our son Ben - the skunk buster. Yesterday morning we discovered we had trapped a skunk in our trap instead of the possum we had intended. This would have been perfectly fine except for the fact that the trap was sitting squarely on the porch and not out in the pasture. This small fact presented a delimma. As you know, skunks spray an especially foul odor as a means of defense. The nasty duty of removing the pest was assigned to our son Ben - 15 1/2 yrs. My husband gave him explicit instructions on how to move the animal and avoid being ostracized for a week. Ben took it a step further. He donned his rain slicker and slicker trousers and topped it off with his motorcycle helmet. He looked like he was in armor. He then took a plastic tarp and approached the little rascal surreptitiously, completely avoiding its notice! Once the trap was covered completely, he dragged it quickly out to the pasture. It was at this time the little varmet let loose, bathing only the tarp in its fragrance. It was a perfect success! We have nick named Ben the Skunk Buster.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Well, I still have it. After a five year respit I was commanded to do my duty on the floor. In hospital terms - draw blood. I actually enjoyed seeing other people for a change and my skills returned in an instant. Phlebotomy is a duty in which no one wishes to part take, yet it is our 'life blood' so to speak. In a laboratory, if there is no blood to test, there is no work to do. It stands to reason, if I wish to remain employed, it would behoove me to comlpy willing to the wishes of management. I do so cheerfully with a song in my heart.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

chicken farm

Just call us the "Chicken Farm"! Ben found two more baby chicks pushed out of the roost yesterday bringing our total to eleven. At the moment they are in the house in a large box. Soon they will out grow that ole box. We didn't realize this was the invovlement we were undertaking when the decision to add chickens to our family was made. It does make life interesting.

I've been working on my query letter this week. This is kicking my butt. I am going to finish it and do it well, though. My husband is tired of seeing me scrible every evening. He has the patience of a saint.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I wrote this little ditty for a conference I'm going to and asked my husband to read it before submission. Now, you have to know my husband... He HATES to read. It isn't that he doesn't read - he reads off the web constantly - pages and pages. He just doesn't read books... or pages of prose.
I digress. He read my piece for me and... he really liked it. My husband, who loves me and calls me "honey", is my most ardent critic. He wants the best for me and will tell it like it is. He liked this piece!

The Event that Changed My Life

The most significant event in my life was the day my husband – my ex – served divorce papers to the front door of our home. As much of a shock and a blow to my ego that was, that single event hurled me head long into a multitude of new, and at the time, poorly understood set of occurrences. Without a doubt, that piece of paper has been responsible for bringing me to this most incredible, thrilling point of my present existence.

This momentous event provided me the impetus to face all the demons in my life – the never ending stream of fears plaguing most every area of day to day living at the time. It placed me in the midst of the most frightening situations – courts, lawyers, judges…in-laws – all of which required vigilant attention and forceful wherewithal, molding a timid, reserved mother into a force with which to be reckoned.

As a result of this event, I was introduced to the man with whom I share my life – my husband. His presence in my life has, unquestionably, enabled me to bloom into the person I am today. His encouragement and nurturing, instruction and guidance has moved me beyond the realm of a mediocre existence to a fully engaged, live it to the fullest, exuberant life. It has been through him I have been afforded an opportunity to spread my wings and attempt fresh challenging undertakings.

He introduced me to the world of horses, encouraging me to learn to ride. I had been oblivious to the implications of a horse in my life. A horse is capable of teaching you more about yourself without a spoken word than talking to a counselor for a month full of Sundays. So it was with me. When I discovered the true me lying beneath the veneers I had so effectively draped over myself through the years, I was transformed into a new self assured, confident me. If riding doesn’t do anything else for you, it will teach you confidence. One cannot steer a thousand pound animal timidly or it will run amuck. Confidence tells you no matter what that horse is thinking, you will have him doing exactly what you want him to do.

That confidence paved the way for me to pick up the guitar, once again after fifteen years, and learn to play with more skill than previously. I vehemently went about discovering new pieces to learn and deciphering the music for myself, refusing to shrink from the challenge and reveling in the accomplishment.

Confidence spurred me to learn how to cook entire dinners in a dutch oven over an open fire. This ability provided my family many sumptuous meals during our home building project a few years ago – the added challenge of living in tent during home construction.

Confidence enables me to press onward, pen in hand and record the myriad of thoughts and fantasies flooding my over active imagination, pursuing the dreams of a writer. An imagination that once lay as dormant as the door at which that piece of paper was first served.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Well, I have today off. This means I will be working a six day stretch over the weekend. I can't complain, I agreed to the whole deal, but it seems daunting from this end of it.

We have a new hatched chick show up. Long live our new flock! We will have more chickens than we will know what to do with. That's okay. This is developing into another new adventure for the Walker family.

This is a short post. Of course they are all short. I'm getting into the swing of things with this new endeavor.



Friday, July 10, 2009

Just Friday

The weekend is finally upon us. The summer heat is also back - glorious summer! I love the heat. I know this is unimportant drivel, but I have to practice just blogging.

We have new hatched chicks from our hens - four of them. The chicks that hatched four weeks ago are pretty big and are now permanently of the porch. We are learning how to raise them 'on the job'. It all makes our lives more interesting.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

First attemp

Well, I have finally done it. In an effort to further my writing career, I have actually begun blogging. I never thought I would be sucked into the media circles to this extent, but... you gotta do what you gotta do and this is my dream.