first

9 comments

Clutter, Collectibles, and Critical Keepsakes: Barriers to Clearing and Controlling the Chaos Even With an Empty Nest

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Today, while clearing some space on a bookshelf over-stuffed like me in Spanx, with photo albums, baby books, and home movies, I discovered an unlabeled, black three-ringed binder. Opening the notebook, I was pleasantly surprised and reminded of how organized I have always tried to be. Especially when paperwork is involved. […]

16 comments

Emtpy Nest Between Thanksgiving and Christmas: (It’s shorter than you think)

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman I wrote this little ditty, several weeks ago and almost waited too late to post it with Christmas just days away. I’m rushing to get this out, just like the family photo Christmas cards I never got around to sending last year that will go out next week, only one year […]

15 comments

Collecting Memories and Steps: Walking Down Memory Lane at an Antique Mall

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman It’s like a treasure hunt searching through other people’s antiques and collectibles. Some memorable items leave us full of pride while others leave us full of questions like, “What were we thinking?” or “Why in the world did we decide that was a good thing to possess?” My husband and I […]

May 11, 2017
lisakunk

24 comments

Fluttering In and Out of the Empty Nest: This Time With A Puppy

  By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Families all over the place are experiencing reverse-empty-nest-syndrome. The birdies are flying back in from college with either big plans for work, internships, and trips or perhaps big plans for lying on the couch and playing video games. A summer of recuperation from the rigors of college life, they might […]

19 comments

And Then There’s Remodeling, Pt. 1

    By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Written near the beginning of the process 12 11 2016)   Until you’ve tried it, it’s difficult to fully understand the revelry awaiting your senses. Remodeling is a life-changing experience, for occupants and for the house.   The clean aroma of fresh-cut lumber inside the house says, After all […]

Walnuts and My Tom Sawyer Moment

October 23, 2016


 

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

My twenty-year old son Sam walks barefoot in our backyard picking up walnuts with his long, thin, size thirteen toes. It’s a special talent I passed down to him with my own sizable hoof.

When the nuts fall off the black walnut tree, the nearly baseball sized hard green outer shell is a threat to an uncovered head. As the green shell dries to black and falls off the actual nut deep inside, the black shells become a nasty nuisance. It takes gloves and rakes to remove the staining shells then. It’s much smarter to remove them in the early hard stage instead of waiting till they dye your hands and shoes black.

A light bulb flickers in my head. I’m not Mark Twain and this is not really Tom Sawyer tricking folks into whitewashing his fence, but I can’t help thinking this seems like a good way to get the walnuts picked out of the yard.

I say to Sam, “Think you could hit that sweet gum tree with a walnut?”

“Which one?” he asks.

“That big one in that leafy natural area. The squirrels haul the nuts over there to chomp into the hard shells anyway. Never let a squirrel bite you. They must have teeth of steel.”

“Mama, I got bad aim,” Sam says after pitching the first nut to the right of the tree.

“Yeah and you also “got” bad grammar,” I tell my six-foot three baby boy who actually has impeccable grammar.

“Naw, my grammar’s all right.”

He throws one walnut after the other, hitting the tree and splattering the green outer shell about every third throw.

Next thing I know, here comes his daddy, saying, “Want me to show you how to hit that tree?”

This is working out even better than I expected. His father is not a bystander.

“There we go,” says Daddy Dan when he hits the tree. And I hear, “All right! Did you see that one, Sam? Did you see that nut explode when it hit the tree? Maybe that sweet gum tree will feel the pain and stop dropping spikey sweet gum balls.

“Hey! I want to play,” says our oldest daughter flouncing down the deck steps to join the competition. Perfect. Many hands make light work, as they say. And like Tom Sawyer’s friends, my family never even knows they’re working.

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August 9, 2016
lisakunk

14 comments

My Clothes Aren’t Consignment Worthy?

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman What’s a person to do with the unworn clothes smothering the air right out of the closet? It’s a common dilemma, or so I hear. Tossing them is out of the question, as landfills are always a last resort for me. If it can be handed down, sold, donated or refurbished […]

July 16, 2016
lisakunk

9 comments

What’s in Your Drawers?

  By Lisa Batten Kunkleman “I found five clippers and got stuck twice by the same pushpin while searching for one paperclip in your top desk drawer. I took the change for pain and suffering.”   These are the words my husband texted to me while I vacationed by a lake. He included a photo […]

June 15, 2016
lisakunk

10 comments

Empty Nest Flutterings: The Multiplying Condiment Miracle

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman How is it possible to clean out my fridge, using my large sink as a holding spot for discards, filling said sink with outdated bottles and jars of condiments and beet remains while still ending up with a chockfull fridge? Dang! It hardly looks any different from when I started except […]

May 31, 2016
lisakunk

13 comments

Empty Nest Flutterings

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman The birds flew back into our empty nest. Quiet slipped out the back door, to be replaced by chatter, showers, cars and friends galore. The living room became a drop off spot for book bags, jackets, and laptops. Oh, and shoes, brass instruments and music stands. They’re ba-ack. And oh how […]

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