The nostalgia of clean sheets #iPPP

Growing up, my most and least favorite day was cleaning day. Usually on a Saturday we’d wake up to the sounds of our mom scrubbing either the kitchen or the bathroom. We’d haul our dirty clothes out to the hallway and sort them into piles. We’d dust and vacuum and declutter.

When you’re a kid, cleaning sucks. But there was always something so lovely about resting on the couch under the ceiling fan afterward, surrounded by the smells of Clorox and Pledge. There was a peace to the clean house.

When it came time to strip and remake the beds, my sister and I would play a game with our mother. She would go to spread the new fitted sheet over the mattress and we’d climb underneath before she could get it secured. Then she’d continue to make the bed over us and we’d crawl out one corner, fixing it behind us.

It was silly, really, but it’s one of my favorite memories. The breeze of the snapped sheet over your head, the scent of the detergent it gave off.

The giggles as we lay trapped underneath the bedding for just a moment. The feeling that there wasn’t anything else going on in the world at that moment, just us in the bedroom, being together.

It was all part of the magic of childhood, the magic that fades for awhile but is renewed later when you get to be a parent yourself.

Yesterday I was making the bed when Monkey let out a loud squeal and leapt up onto it. He squirmed his way under the half of the sheet I’d already fitted to the mattress.

“I help,” he insisted.

He wasn’t much help, of course. He’d wrap himself up in the sheets, toss the pillows at me, and yank the comforter away each time I’d try to place it.

I would have gotten exasperated with him, but there was this moment. This moment when he was between the sheets, sitting on top of the fitted one I’d finally gotten tucked in, the flat sheet snapped out above his head, floating down in his face.

His face that was lit up from within with happiness at this moment.

Could he smell it, I wondered? The detergent, would he remember its scent years later? Would the softness of that clean sheet always be a comfort to him?

He had no idea of the bridge to my childhood he’d built in those few seconds, of how quickly I was taken back to those essentially carefree days. How for that moment, there wasn’t anything else going on in the world but us in the bedroom, being together.

Did you photograph a special moment with your phone this week? Link up your post with us!



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Pursued

She wasn’t sure she was going to make it.

The split second she needed to gauge the footsteps – the leaps that would take her further from her pursuer and closer to an escape – that fraction of time might have made the difference.

Her pulse was throbbing in her ears. Could he hear it?

He would catch her again, this she knew.

She could hear his short, shallow breaths just feet away. He wasn’t watching. Not yet. But if she moved, if she made any effort to change her position, he’d be there in a flash.

She decided to go for it.

Uncrossing her legs, she leaned quickly to the left and sprinted up the stairs. Three, four, five steps to make it on the landing, then a quick juke to the left. Through the doorway – there it was! Freedom!

A door slam away.

She twirled around, grabbed the handle. Began to propel the door forward, but too late. Too late.

He was with her, grinning maniacally. He knew he’d beaten her, he knew she was caught.

As did she, so she sat down to pee, defeated, and handed the toddler a roll of toilet paper to unravel, resigned to her fate.

In the Kitchen: Copycat 54th Street Gringo Dip

One of my favorite appetizers here in Kansas City is 54th Street’s Gringo Dip – a white cheese dip loaded with veggies and spice. They serve it with chips or waffle fries and it’s so good that when my sister comes to visit, we have to go eat there at least twice.

I’ve been wanting to make it at home for awhile, but never got around to it until the other day when my husband begged me to.

I peeked around the Internet for awhile and found a couple of efforts to replicate the dip, with one sit actually claiming to have the “recipe from the corporate cookbook.”

Haha, yeah. Right.

None of them were exactly what I was envisioned, mostly because they had too many ingredients or were too complicated in prep.

Anyway, this is my version. It’s not authentic, of course, but close, real close. It makes a lot bigger serving that you’d get at the restaurant, so it’s perfect for the upcoming football season. It requires almost no prep, since you buy everything prepackaged. Also, it has veggies. Sneaky, sneaky.

Gringo-ish Dip

1 lb Velveeta Queso Blanco, cubed
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
½ cup shredded parmesan
16 oz container pico de gallo
1 cup milk
1 tsp cayenne
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

In a saucepan, warm the cheeses, pico, milk and cayenne. Stir well until completely melted.

Add the spinach, taking care to separate the leaves.

Serve with chips, on nachos, or with waffle fries.

*Welcome Pinteresters!  For more tasty noms, try my Chicken Spaghetti. It’s a failproof kid pleaser. Or my Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Lasagna, guaranteed to get as much cheese in your mouth as possible. Wash it all down with my Mama’s Amaretto Slush for a frosty adult treat. Thanks for visiting!