Author Archives: K H Richardson

About K H Richardson

I am a long-time creative sort who by day is a communications strategist and in every free moment writes fiction or blogs!

31 Days left

Welcome to December. This is what I believe to be the fastest month. It’s the hardest month to manage your schedule because there are so many great options for how to spend your time while you still maintain 40 hours of work a week. It’s also the last month of the calendar year, so all those wonderfully optimistic goals set 11 months ago, and forgotten 10 months ago, more than likely won’t be achieved. Here’s to those of you who did stick with your goals and you are about to celebrate that victory. But for many of us, too many other things, important and not important, got in the way of goals.

Okay, so there is a lot to do in addition to our obligations this month. This is the time of year for holiday parties and shopping-which leads to eating out a little more. It’s also a time when we are feeling festive and want to get together with others. So we plan a few more evenings out. All of it fun. But is it meaningful? When you think about your “holiday season” are you intentionally doing things to make this season meaningful to you and your family. Or do you just say “yes” to everything and race to January 1st. Let me suggest two things:

Pace yourself. Take a deep breath and embrace the remaining days of the year that lead to one of the most significant holiday and the close of calendar year 2019.

Before today is over decide on the one, two, or three things or activities that will truly make your holidays and wrapping up another year meaningful. Maybe review those goals, you may be closer than you think (I’m not, unless there’s a literary agent reading this, wink, wink, still waiting for your response).

For example, you’ll hear people say, “I’d love to go see The Nutcracker Ballet, but there isn’t time. We’ll do it next year.” Next year could be this year, are you doing it? Maybe for you it’s finding a holiday concert or candlelight service on Christmas Eve to attend. Don’t wait, find one and make it a priority to attend.

I’ve began this mindset with our Thanksgiving plans. Instead of cramming two full-blown family Thanksgivings during the four-day weekend, we did one the weekend before. This, allowed us to relax at each gathering and enjoy the time with family-the laughter, children’s squeals, and a little family drama. And I could sleep in a little and not feel like I was living in hyper-speed.

What can you do, plan, or decide today that will make the next 31 days the most meaningful to you?

Let me know.


Click to tweet: Welcome to December. This is what I believe to be the fastest month. It’s the hardest month to manage your schedule because there are so many great options for how to spend your time while you still maintain 40 hours of work a week. Pace yourself. Take a deep breath and embrace the remaining days of the year that lead to one of the most significant holiday and the close of calendar year 2019.

Dip or Condiment?

Recently a co-worker and I had a conversation over watermelon salsa about what constitutes a condiment versus a dip. Both require something else to assist consumption. Yet, we give them different food values. I wonder why? Who determined that ketchup would be tasty spread on a hot dog, but cocktail (primary ingredient is ketchup) sauce is for dipping shrimp? Salsa is for dipping, but mayonnaise is for spreading. Who makes these decisions? What if everyone decided to dip chips in spicy mustard, would that change it’s aisle at the grocery?

If we downshift here to look up the definition of condiment, it’s “something used to enhance the flavor of food.” So what does dip do? According to our friends at Merriam-Webster, there are five definitions of the word, none of which have to do with food-to immerse; thrust; lower in and out- and a few definitions around chewing tobacco. YUCK. All the definitions have to do with actions.

According to the Foodimentary blog, dips didn’t show up on the entertainment scene until the 1950’s. However, there is evidence that President Wilson’s wife made dip for him. It was one of his favorites. And according to the Food Timeline History notes site, it was James Beard. In his very first cookbook (Hors d’Oeuvre and Canapes, 1940), Beard wrote: I think it delightful to have large bowls of cheese mixtures which are of a consistency that permits “dunking.” There are also tales of dip being served during the depression years when entertaining changed dramatically.

According to a Huffington post, the history of condiments is considered unique and perhaps bizarre. Because I mentioned ketchup above, it’s history is reported as being traced to a seventeenth-century Chinese sauce made of pickled fish and spices called kê-chiap. It was discovered by English explorers, who brought it back to England, where they made it less fishy and added more mushrooms and shallots. Tomatoes didn’t make their first appearance in ketchup until the early 1800’s.

Not sure we’ve completely answered the question other than the two yummy treats took parallel journeys to our grocery shelves and party tables. Imagine Superbowl Sunday, or a Summer cookout without either one. It’s not an appetizing thought. So go ahead and scoop, dip and squeeze your way to food happiness. Oh, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for March 23rd- National Chip and Dip Day!


Click-it to tweet-it: Recently a co-worker and I had a conversation over watermelon salsa about what constitutes a condiment versus a dip. Both require something else to assist consumption. Yet, we give them different food values. I wonder why?

In Honor of Those Who Serve

There is #grace for all, and #forgiveness is always extended, but the hurt is real for too many still today. Thank you to those who went running in when others were running out.

Inspired Prompt


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You can’t rush Jello

We all enjoy it. The jiggly, cool, fruity treat makes us smile. But to get to the treat we have to wait. In fact, to make the delicious cubes of goodness, both hot water and ice are added. Hot and cold-timed perfectly, and never to be rushed. But on the other side, we have a great snack or addition to a meal.

#jelloIsn’t that the same with the ebb and flow of life? There are good times and challenging times. We’re hot, we’re cold. The seasons and process of going through both are what form who we become on the other side.  There is no rushing the challenging times, we just have to go through them. And who would want to rush the good times? We just need to savor, and learn from them, appreciating the blessing after the storm.

Next time you find the Jello gelatin treat on the menu, have some and enjoy the happy treat. Go ahead and be transported back to elementary school lunches, find a straw!


Click to tweet: We all enjoy it. The jiggly, cool, fruity treat makes us smile. Making Jello is a lot like life.

Prepare for worship

For every faith, there are rituals used to draw the participants into the worship experience. For those in the evangelical Christian church, we have very few rituals. During worship services, there is music, communion, and a message. What I’m about to say is going to make me sound very old, but I’m going there. The contemporary Christian churches are building the worship music performance to the point of concert status. The loud music, lights flashing and waving, the imagery on the multiple screens do not help prepare hearts for the word of God to be shared. They don’t. It’s just a reminder of the craziness of the world we come to church to escape for a few hours. Psalm 46:10 is my go-to-prepare-my-heart-for-worship verse, Be still and know that I am God. God of creation, transcending time and space. He is bigger than all our worries, we should come humbly to Him.

One Sunday a few months ago the electricity went out in the sanctuary. The worship team didn’t have the lights or screens. They just had their voices and the words of praise. It was wonderful. They led us in a couple of songs, and the voices of believers were raised to the rafters praising God and inviting Him into the worship hour. As the last note echoed out of the sanctuary, we were calm and ready to receive the blessing of the message.

I heard a preacher, Alister Begg, once say that your church experience for Sunday morning begins Saturday night. He asked if we went to bed at a reasonable hour like we would throughout the workweek, so we can wake up refreshed, or are we up late, and partying? Do we get up on Sunday and go to church with prepared hearts for hearing God’s word and how it applies to our life, or do we scramble out the door fussing and arguing with our families about the issue of the morning?

Walking into the sanctuary are we intentional about leaving our to-do lists outside? Set our hearts on things of God, and pray for an open mind and ears to receive what He would have us learn about Him or ourselves in the passage the preacher shares. Are we ready to be attentive?

Don’t misunderstand, music is a wonderful form of worship. If you see me singing in my car, it’s probably worship music. But have we let the music in our churches become so much of a performance, we’ve forgotten about its purpose in preparing our hearts for God? Where is the quiet reverence of coming to the foot of the cross?

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing. Psalm 100:1-2

There is plenty of Biblical talk of singing, and use of instruments, but nothing of performing, and flashing lights. We are to be distinctive from the world, and this worship style is not the way to do it.

It’s just my thoughts.

#worship #christianchurch

All Americans: 4 Cities 2 Towns

In the last month, I have visited four major US cities and two small towns. The four cities were San Antonio, TX, Chicago, IL, Detroit MI, and New York City.

In each of the four cities, I spent time in high-traffic tourist areas – #NavyPier, the #Riverwalk, #FordField, and #TimesSquare. I observed people who were at home there, and those who were just visiting. Of the three, Chicago (even downtown) felt the warmest. Nowhere was anyone rude to me or anything close to the stereotypical big city rushed rudeness. But something about #Chicago and the downtown felt more inviting. What I loved about #Detroit was visiting a town outside the city, West Bloomfield, where my husband went to high school. But comparing the downtown experience it felt like a big city that developers had just plumped a bunch of large builds down and moved on. New York, admittedly I spent the most time in.

I stayed downtown near #BatteryPark and #GroundZero. Before and after the two-day work conference, I took the train uptown to Herald Square and then to Times Square. One note about my train experience, was clean and air-conditioned and not difficult to figure out., It had all the kinds of people you would expect-the crazy talking to themselves type, young professionals, and tourists. My goal was to look as little like a tourist as possible. I probably failed miserably, but I felt comfortable enough even reading a magazine while I road back to the hotel.

Many of the retail options were the same as we have in Louisville (except Bloomingdales and Tiffany’s), every store was bigger, louder, and had lights and sounds coming from all angles. Not to worry, I managed to make a few purchases😊 despite noise and crowds.

I bought a hotdog from a street vendor and stopped to look at the “genuine maybe some kind of designer” purses. I walked from Times Square to Rockefeller Center, and on another journey walked Herald Square, and then the financial district. New York truly is a representation of the melting pot America has been described as. I heard many languages, saw families, couples and individuals of all shapes, sizes, and nationalities. All moving in tandem with each other. All accepting that it was crowded and loud, but no one pushing or shoving to get to the front of the pack. Amid the volume of sound and people, there was a peaceful co-existence.

The two small towns I visited were Kinsman, OH, and Stillman Valley, IL. Both very quiet towns. Both primarily farming towns. Not a lot of diversity in either one, but still many colorful people to observe and meet. Both had a limited number of restaurant choices, but the food was outstanding.

In Stillman Valley, we went to Fritz’s Wooden Nickel. The menu boasted everything from seafood to steak. I stuck with the cheeseburger. Walking into the dining room felt like we were invading someone’s family reunion. The rumble of conversation, while all in English, was warm and comfortable. In Kinsman, we had the opportunity to eat at one of their nicest establishments, The Peter Allen Inn, and one of their down-home, Times Square Restaurant where they really did know names when the locals came for breakfast. Both establishments were locally owned, and the owners were mingling among the diners. Conversations were around the amount of rain, some flooding, and the challenges farmer were having with not being able to put the corn out, or it being too wet for it to grow.

Traveling in and around both of these towns, I wondered about the people who were born, raised, and built their own families there. How many of them only knew America from the perspective of their corner? Of course, I could ask that of the New Yorkers, or Texans I encountered as well.

When you ask the citizens of these six cities what it’s like to live in America or to describe America, how different their perspectives would be. One loud and busy most hours of the day or night, the other steady, peaceful, and little changes day-in and day-out. Both have their share of challenges.

The farming families are growing food that will be shipped across the country; including the big, fast-paced cities like #Detroit, #Chicago, and #NewYork. Similarly, it’s the industries in these major cities that provide the vehicles, financial options, and raw materials that the farmers and those in small-town America count on every day.

I’m headed home now to Louisville, Kentucky. Our microcosm includes all the things these cities have. We have sports (semi-professional), the arts, many people of different languages and cultures who have come to our fair city (metro of about 1 million) to build a life, raise a family, and be a productive part of society. We have our challenges of a river that floods twice a year, homeless, a fussy government structure, and the list goes on to parallel many other places. But it’s home. It’s where I was raised and have chosen to stay. But I like to visit other places and learn something about how others live. It’s these adventures that broaden my capacity to empathize with those who are challenged by life and appreciate very different points of view.


P.S. As I write this post, I’m on my way to #Atlanta, Georgia, another great American city! We are headed to the Mersedes-Benz Stadium for the Drum Corps International Southeast Regionals (#dci). We will be cheering on #PhantomRegiment!

#getaway #IAMJOAN

Click to tweet:

Dress for success

Sometime in the last 20 years as business professionals, we have gone from paying a dollar to a local charity to wear jeans on Friday, to business casual being the norm. Ther is a wide definition of what is considered business casual. Is it dressing jeans up with dress shoes and a jacket? For men, is it slacks and an open-collared shirt? What about the golf shirt and khakis? Ladies, our business casual options have always been a little wonky. I guess a most basic example would be slacks and a sweater, or blouse with no jacket, and flat shoes.

There are those in the up-and-coming generation of professionals who say it doesn’t matter what you wear, you should be judged on your work. While it’s a good thought, let’s face it, the rule of thumb around first impressions is in our human nature. They are lasting, and like it or not begin to form our opinion of a person. There have been studies done to support what I recently tested on my own.

The first three days of the workweek, I dressed business casual. One of the days was a blue jean day at work, so I took full advantage of the option. Every day, I went to work, out to lunch encountered salespeople in shops. It was ok. No one was rude to me, but I definitely got a few looks. The last two days of the week, I dressed in typical business attire. When I wore slacks, I did so with a button blouse, jacket, and a slight heel. My hair and make-up were a little more put together.

I went through my same routine, out to lunch, the same route from the garage to my office, etc. There was a notable difference in the way people (even co-workers) addressed me, looked at me, and interacted. Elevator doors were held, other people walking into the building commented on my outfit or purse. There was a higher level of respect offered. The friendly lady at the sandwich shop even asked if I’d gotten a promotion.

When I started my career, dressing for success, and dressing for the position you were working toward was very much part of the professional culture. Depending on where you work, there may still be something to that. To be honest, I sort of miss it. It was easier to know what was appropriate to wear. I owned 4 or 5 skirt suits and 3 or 4 pantsuits. Blouses in several styles and colors, and pumps in navy, black, and grey.

I’m not saying judging people by what they wear is right, but our clothes make a statement about ourselves. What we wear sends a message to those we come in contact with. This may even provide us the opportunity to learn something of the other person’s situation; to elicit sympathy or compassion. Most of the time, someone who is well put together, be it business casual, Saturday casual(which in my book may or may not include lipstick or makeup), or professionally dressed has taken time to care about how they look.

Taking time to dress neatly and appropriately for the activity boosts confidence and comfort in a situation. You send the message, “I am here, and I am ready.” Dressing appropriately for the situation is a sign of respect to the person in charge, or of the person who invited you.

Lookin’ sharp.


#dressforsuccess #clothes