March, muffins and motherly musings.

Dear friends,


I made Banana Nut Muffins this morning. I had four very sad bananas on my counter and unlike most weeks when I simply toss expired fruit, I turned the bananas into a tasty breakfast for my boys — breakfast being a relative term since I’m typing this at 10:30 am and both of them are still fast asleep despite the aroma of warm muffins.

In case you’re curious, I don’t have a go-to muffin recipe. I found this one last night and decided to give it a try. My only word of review is YUM. My only alteration to the recipe is that I added half a cup of chocolate chips. By the way, I’ve been adding chocolate chips to banana muffins/bread since 1986 when my Boston roommate showed me her trick. If you haven’t had chocolate chip banana nut muffins before, I exhort you to try them.

(My teenage son, if he read this, would ask for the definition of exhort. I think he wonders why I favor non-standard words. All I can say is that I learned it from my mother. And I guess I’m passing it on, though I rarely hear my children say things like “I exhort you.” I love the fact that my mother was a high-school dropout and yet had the vocabulary of a highly educated person. She was a voracious reader, proving once again the good that select books and periodicals can do in your life.)

Now that I’ve prattled on about my muffins and my mother, will you indulge me in a few words about my daughter? I’m just bursting my buttons with pride. Her tennis team is on an impressive winning streak. This weekend, they played and whipped two opponents in San Antonio, including an upset win over a ranked team, which gives them a 9-1 record at the mid-point of their season. Besides the fact that I’m delighted for these young women, I’m tickled pink because Kate got her first two wins.

When Kate made her college choice, she knew she would be joining a talented team. She knew she’d be getting top-notch tennis instruction, but she didn’t know if she’d ever play a match her first season or two. When the program’s longtime and nationally recognized coach departed not long after her arrival, her tennis future seemed pretty uncertain. (I don’t mean to sound like a mother who values athletics over academics, but because Kate aspires to become a tennis coach, her athletic and academic futures are entwined.) The new coach has clearly hit the ground running, and so has Kate. After playing a handful of exhibition matches, she got the opportunity this week to play her first matches among the “Top 6.” (The team has 8 players, 6 of whom play any given match.)

Kate won her singles match 6-0, 6-1. She and her partner, Lusy, won their doubles match 8-0. Those zeros  in a match score — they’re called “bagels” in tennis. And a bagel is a beautiful thing when you serve one up to your tennis opponent.

So, yeah, Mom is over the moon. Kate’s 20th birthday is Friday and we’re traveling to Oklahoma to watch two days of tennis matches and host a birthday dinner.  The weekend following that, Kate will be home for two days in what suffices for spring break for the tennis team. The weekend after that, we’ll have the great pleasure of watching her squad play two Missouri teams just a few miles from our home. With three consecutive weekends where we get to see Kate, March just may be my new favorite month.

Oh — one more thing.

While we’re visiting Kate, we’re going to meet this little girl.


She’s a rescue dog. Her foster mother thinks she’s part Lab, part Redbone. Mr. Mom thinks she’s part Walker. She is all parts adorable and, if the stars align, she’ll come home with us. We’ve been thinking of adopting a new dog ever since Frito died, and if this adoption happens, March will be officially perfect.

With gratitude {for the most wonderful, springy, time of the year},

Joan, who tackled her spring project list yesterday with a Pinterest idea that she looks forward to telling you about soon


  1. I love to put chocolate chips in banana muffins. Mmm! That’s great about Kate’s wins and fun to see you beaming with pride. I hope that little dog comes home with you- what a sweetie.

  2. Go Kate!

    I too hope for a smooth adoption process – though I’m never clear who is rescuing whom in these situations… Is she already named?

  3. Your food photos are scrumptious. And GO KATE! Wave to me on Friday when you pass by Springfield.

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