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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, December 4, 2009


This is a very “oatmeal morning” for me. It’s your typical late fall day. There were some pretty cold droplets in the air this morning—not quite snow, but certainly not summery. Trees are bare of leaves, except for the row of spindly oaks that hang onto their dead brown foliage through whatever ice and snow winter will throw at them. Our snowless November has enabled most people to get their leaves raked and composted or bagged or vacuumed up by the city. Lawns are trimmed and ready for what’s to come.

And we’ve got omens of “what’s to come.” In our parking lot the neon-tipped stakes are pounded in to the at-risk corners and edges so that over-zealous snow plows can stay on track and not dig up the lawns as they do their job over the next several snowy months.

But back to oatmeal. For me it’s a great comfort food that gets me going on such a morning. From experience I already know that oatmeal is one of those trigger words that prods memories in the brains of many people. Maybe for you it’s a reminder of home. “Nobody makes oatmeal like my mom, or dad, or grandma.”
Maybe it takes you back to camps of your youth, or of last summer. Was it Ruth or Robert, Irene or Isabelle who stirred up that perfect pot of oatmeal and plopped it in front of you every morning?

We could get into long discussions (I know; I’ve done it!) about what the just right topping is for your oatmeal. Brown sugar, maple syrup, raisins, cinnamon, coconut, prunes, heavy cream, butter…Several of you possess the secrets that keep the lumps at a minimum, that ensure the texture is creamy or oaty or whatever magic oatmeal word was used in your kitchen, or around your dining hall table, at your campsite picnic table. I know it; I’ve used this magic word before!

Now let’s all just take an oatmeal moment and bask in our good memories. It will make the grey day a bit brighter.


  1. Funny you should mention oatmeal. I decided to take a vacation day today and thought I might just check some email and the blog before I make my own hearty bowl of oatmeal. Unlike my children I happen to enjoy oatmeal on a morning such as this. I used to eat the instant stuff out of the packages but recently thought to myself, enough with the instant, I need to make the real thing. It doesn't take long to replicate Moms oatmeal, top it with generous amounts of brown sugar and just enough milk to cool it a bit so I can start consuming! It not only taste delicious it does bring back many camping memories and memories around the family breakfast table while getting ready for school. Of course I agree with your comment, my mother makes the best (as I'm sure everyone elses mother does too) Got to go and enjoy my bowl of warm, stick to your ribs memories. Enjoy yours too.

  2. Oh Brian I'm so pleased you've given up the instant stuff. That really isn't oatmeal you know. I'm not sure why the inventors thought it was somehow necessary. (Puts me in mind of "instant tea.")

    Why would you do that when the real deal is so fast and easy and delicious!

  3. One of my rights of passage when I turned 16 was NOT to have Oatmeal for breakfast 6 days a week. (It would seem that God was merciful). A few years ago our familly doctor informed me He was tired of seeing my colesterol balance borderline and my triglycerides high and wanted to put me on medication. I asked him to give me a prescription foe another set of blood tests 3 months out, and I would try diet and exercise. The exercise has been sporatic, but I went back to Oatmeal 5 mornings a week. (And I know it will make Marion cring, but I use the "instant" stuff. The result has been textbook colesteral levels. The moral: Mother (and granmother) knows best.


  4. I've said it before, whatever goes on it is fine by me. Just don't stir too much. I let the water boil with a bit of salt, add the oats (and raisins), and stir it around maybe three times, turn it down to simmer and leave it. Over-stirring bruises the oats and turns the stuff to glue.

    I assume this is why they invented the spurtle. Bruise protection.

  5. Congratulations on your cholesterol levels David!
    I reckon I could consider instant oatmeal to be "medicinal" but I still prefer the real deal :-)

    And "Words" I NEVER stir it after I was reminded by a certain blog a year or so ago. I agree. Your method is the best!


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