Banner Mountain Girl # 35 My Favorite Room

The Kitchen is my Favorite Room

Some writers say their favorite room is their writing room. I write in my office but it’s not my favorite room. I go there to write or to be alone. I can be sure I won’t be disturbed because I’ve had only one visitor in the several years I’ve been writing. One day, time slipped by as I worked on an article and my husband came in to ask what time dinner would be served. I no longer spend a lot of time in my kitchen — and my husband might not believe this — but my kitchen is my favorite room.

violets from my windowsill

African Violets bloom from my kitchen window which faces east, and that pleases me because they are supposed to thrive only in light from the north, and I don’t have a north window for violets. My kitchen window not only provides a shelf for potted plants, it also allows me to see the driveway which brings friends to my door.

Friends and family are important to me — like good books — and in my kitchen I like preparing foods and beverages for people. Their compliments are more rewarding than I deserve but it’s part of the reason why I like my kitchen.  I don’t like to clean my kitchen floor, but I like a spotless floor and when the floor is sparkling, I like my kitchen even better.

In the near future, I plan to remodel my kitchen. In its present state, it’s far from a picture model in Better Homes and Gardens. My husband is either lucky or unlucky that I have a sense of humor, because without it I would not have survived the many years of preparing meals from this kitchen. Without my sense of humor, my husband and I might have parted with this kitchen, or I might have parted with my husband, one of the two.

I realized I had a sense of humor when my son got married. Following tradition, I invited my son’s fiancé and her parents for dinner. Her mother stood in my kitchen talking about the wedding shower which was given in her hometown for the newlyweds-to-be.

“They received everything. Just everything,” she said, “except fine china.”

Oh, I thought, fine china. They must have fine china. As I opened my cabinet to get a pan, every piece of Tupperware I own came crashing out and spilled onto the floor. That’s when I laughed. Laughter costs a lot less than tears and I’m an economical person.

Today I changed two light bulbs in my kitchen. My husband would have changed them but it’s so easy to ask him to do that, I decided that changing the bulbs was more of a challenge than asking him, so I changed them. I hope this doesn’t prove I can get along without my husband, because I can’t. I need him, not only to compliment my cooking but also to proofread my novel.

It’s a romance and an exciting adventure for me. I hope it’s a best seller, but if not, I’ll try another category. From my favorite room, I’ll share a secret or two. Good cookbooks are always in demand.

cowboy stew simmers on stove

~© Freeda Baker Nichols


Big Two-Headed Horse


An idea for a story, perhaps? What’s your take on that idea? It might be awesome if this animal crossed the river Hemingway wrote about. Remember, “Big Two-Hearted River?”

Not saying I’m planning to use this photo to launch a new story, but you never know. I might. Imagination is a great story starter. Do you think so?

Untangled Thread

Mama’s stitches were shorter and
more uniform than those made by
other ladies at the quilting parties.
When the patterned pieces of feed
sack wore thin, Mama’s stitches
held strong as the knots that kept
them in place.

A tablecloth, with faded black letters
across a corner brightened our
kitchen with appliqued red apples that
looked good enough to eat. There was
warmth in the kitchen that came from
somewhere other than the wood-burning

I cannot untangle my life, the way Mama
untangled twine, but she instilled in me
the determination to try. I sleep under a
machine-made comforter, but the thought
of Mama caring for her family warms me.



© Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols


Take My Word For It . . .

Dot Hatfield’s new book is delightful. It contains her blog posts and they are short, spunky passages that are just right for reading before bedtime. Or any time of day for that matter. Although I’ve read most of them on her blog, I love this book I received as a gift. It’s available on Amazon.  Check it out. And find her blog at You will be happy when you read her writing.

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Two Chosen Captions–contest winners

“Whoa, I called shotgun first. What am I doing back here?”

This caption was written by Hilary Baker of Oregon.

I think this dog looks disappointed that someone else got to ride in the passenger seat. With Chuckwagon Races going on in my hometown at this time, this seemed to work well as a caption for this photo.

“Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play.”

This caption was written by Calla Linn of Arkansas. I loved the idea of this dog singing a great song, Home on the Range.  I could just see him wanting to chase the buffalo, the deer and the antelope. After all, he is a blue heeler.

A Poem That Rhymes

Super Snooper

Up the hill and over the way,River
my puppy, Snooper, ran, one day.
Where did he go, what did he find?
Everything that was left behind.
He found a coat of Bobby Joe’s,
and a suit of his Sunday clothes.
He also found one of his shoes
and wrappers from the gum he chews.
Where’s Bobby Joe, I wondered then
and so I stopped to ask his friend.
Well, haven’t you heard, don’t you know
what has happened to Bobby Joe?
Do you think I’d ask, if I knew?
I only know Snoop found his shoe,
his jacket and his Sunday clothes,
a gum wrapper–do you suppose
he moved without saying goodbye?
I feel so sad I think I’ll cry.
Oh, no, don’t cry, said Bobby’s friend,
he will be coming back again.
I found out that Bobby Joe
had asked his dad if they could go
to Disneyland when spring break came
and so they both climbed on a train
that zipped away to Disneyland.
They are still there, you understand–
they’re having fun and laughing loud
among the dancing Disney crowd.
My puppy barked and dashed away
down the hill on that cool spring day.

© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols

Looking for my Voice

There’s an old joke that used to float around — about a wife who owned many hats and loved to wear them.
One day she put on a fancy one and said to her husband, “I was down in the dumps today and I found this!”

“Oh, so that’s where you get them!” he replied.

                                                                           * * *

It’s Thursday and here are the words I promised. I want to introduce my imaginary sidekick, who is newly created, as of tonight, and, as yet, un-named.

Well, as a writer, I’m not down in the dumps . . .
and I’m not looking for a hat.
But I am looking . . . for something.

I’m looking for my voice.

My imaginary sidekick says, “What? Have you lost your voice? Do you have laryngitis?”

I reply, “Of course not. Do I look sick?”

“Well, no, but why are you looking for your voice?”

“It’s my writing voice,” I reply. “It’s the voice I need to use when I write stories. You know, like Ernest– like Harper– like Mark . . . ?”

“I remember when the mentor at Hemingway Pfeiffer Writer’s Retreat compared your voice to that of Eudora Welty. Remember that?”

“Yes, that was when he critiqued my story about Kit. But since then, I’ve misplaced my voice. And I’m looking for it so I can finish that series on Kit.”

My room at the Downtown Inn, Piggott, Arkansas, where I stayed while attending the Hemingway Pfeiffer Writer's Retreats.

My room at the Downtown Inn, Piggott, Arkansas, where I stayed while attending the Hemingway Pfeiffer Writer’s Retreats.