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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake


4 tablespoons cake flour ( that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla essence
1 coffee mug
Put dry ingredients in mug. Mix well Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla essence, and mix again. I added some coconut and nuts at this time too. (You can also do all the above in a bowl and then pour it in your mug but why?????)
Microwave for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! Note: This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous. And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

The Envelope Please!

Here you go!! Good luck!

1. Flame thrower--I think Paco has it in mind to zap a few migrating birds!

2. Nearly 12--But I'd rather have been reading.

3. New Dawn--as in What's-the-big-fat-hairy-deal-with-these-vampire-books??????

4. 200--But technically I lost count around 145.

5. Cokeville Women---I can't believe how many of you wanted to use that for EVERY answer!!

6. 8--very sticky from some aphids in our trees and so long overdue--like since May!!!!!!!!!!

7. Baskets!!! I think I got you on that one. Actually the whole bathroom is full of sewing stuff. My sewing room project is sooooo slow.

8. Switzerland--Tourists from Interlaken!!! I want to say I'M from Interlaken!!! Boo hoo. We seem to have an abundance of European tourists passing through taking advantage of Fall travel discounts and an obvious lack of charming U.S. kids. I met some cool Flemish visitors on Saturday also. They wrote me out a list of all the places NOT to miss in Belgium.

9. Wood--Cokeville Women....sheesh you guys.

10. Summer clothes--Actually because our summer season here lasts just a couple of weeks, these clothes have been in the family for almost 150 years.

11. Cheese!!! I can't keep in it. The kids LOVE it. Cheese and water.

12. 25--Oh yes! And delightful they were to be sure.

13. New plates--from a yard sale--such a killer deal! Out with the very old and in with the new!

14. GPS cows--Anybody get that one? Do you think we should be doing likewise? Eating facing north or south, that is?

15. Potty chairs--Shelly called in the middle of the day. I momentarily thought something was wrong! It seems Charlie (probably smack dab in the middle of his "anal stage" (according to Freud) wants to do the potty thing. Go Charlie!

Well there you are! Zap me your totals--one point per correct answer. Thanks for playing!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Contest Extension

Owing to my suspicion that some people take a day off, I'm extending my contest for another day. Will post answers tomorrow night. In the meantime watch this great video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pop Quiz

Okay you're on your honor. Take the quiz, record your score., and email me the results after I post the answers tomorrow. High winner gets a secret prize. Not quite Pioneer Woman's $500 giftcards but nevertheless worth the participation. Ready?

Answer Pool: 25, cheese, more than 200, 8, flame thrower, New Dawn, Switzerland, baskets, potty chairs, summer clothes, Cokeville women, nearly 12, wood, GPS has revealed that the vast majority of cows graze facing north or south, new plates.

Use all answers and only once!

1. What did the UPS man deliver to our house yesterday?
2. How many hours did I spend cleaning my house (more or less)?
3. What did I return to my friend Les at City Hall?
4. How many flies did I kill yesterday?
5. What phone topic did my friend Vicki and I discuss?
6. How many windows did I wash yesterday?
7. What has now taken up residence in our bathtub?
8. What topic did I discuss with some strangers at Broulim's yesterday?
9. At the end of the day, Paco went in search of ____________________.
10. What did I stuff into a big black garbage bag for storage?
11. What did I deliver to my classroom yesterday?
12. How many guests came to my house for dinner last night?
13. What moved FINALLY from the trunk of my van into the house?
14. What "breaking news" was one of the topics of the dinner party?
15. I had momentary panic but then relaxed when I realized the phone call was just about________________________.

There you go. Answers tomorrow. I'm totally about the honor system here. BUT you must enter into my comments that you are, in fact, playing-- to be eligible.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Next, Please

One of the throwbacks to the pioneer heritage in our family is our insistance that we can make, do, or try anything we want. Particularly some of us insist on cutting hair--our own, the dogs', or more often our dependent children. Here's Charlie modeling the fruits of his mother's recent efforts, and I say, "Rock on oh ye amateurs!" Who needs formal training? I've been honing my haircutting skills for many years now--first (like my daughter) on my resident "captive" male children and then on Paco. Paco is ALL about a bargain! I figure I've saved him several hundred in stylists over the last 11 years since I first took scissors to him. Going back to a barber would mean he'd also have to forego the kiss on the neck which signifies I'm finished--he'd miss that! If you were to zoom in on Charlie Bug here, you'd see a microscopic nick in one of his ears--evidence of a random head move during a former haircutting session. He bled; mom cried. But it looks like she's back in the arena! Nice job.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


While you were slumbering early last Thursday, our entire seventh grade had already boarded a bus. As you were snoring gently I was scrambling madly for a plastic bag and then wiping the evidence of a motion sick student from my pant leg a mere 20 minutes into the trip. About the time your alarm went off we were pulling into the Moose Visitors Center in Grand Teton National Park. You were eating breakfast probably about the time we wrestled some string cheese and granola bars from the cargo section of the bus and busted into them in the parking lot. As you arrived at work we were most likely entering Yellowstone Park, and during your first mid-morning bathroom break we must have been de-bussing at Old Faithful. Your sandwich was going down probably almost exactly as Old Faithful was going up, and if you'd have had your computer on the Old Faithful cam (mounted discreetly in a tree) website, you would have seen us leaping and waving our arms to show up on your computer screen.

Say WHAT?????? We're on top of a volcano?????

You were glancing at the clock about the time we skipped along a boardwalk flanked on both sides by crazy steaming ponds surrounded by gurgling bubbling teapots of geothermic madness! You were asking your boss about a deadline; we were pondering the logistics of fishing in a river fed constantly by boiling water!!

You changed your ink cartridge; we spotted a shaggy mountain goat half way up a mountain!

About the time your head was nodding for an afternoon snooze at your desk, all 105 of us were peering over the guardrail at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
You may have been jotting off a memo when we stood above the brink of both the Lower and Upper Falls. You were conferring with a colleague; we were hiking straight down the trail so that we could hover above thousands and thousands of gallons of water as they crashed several stories below us. You sharpened your pencil; we yelled at kids leaving the trail to take a shortcut. You checked your email; I grabbed a kid who narrowly escaped slipping down the side of a mountain into a gaping canyon crevice.

You were just leaving your parking lot when we chanced upon a herd of buffalo crossing the road in front of us. You were waving your arms at the bozo who darted in front of you; we hung out the windows flailing our arms at the furry beast and handed cameras across the aisle to snap pictures! "Anybody here speak buffalo????"
You sat down to a warm meal probably about the time we were looking into our individual coolers FOR THE TENTH TIME to see if that warm cheeseburger had appeared yet. Here's guessing that your supper didn't resemble the Twinkies, Snickers, or Dr. Peppers that we ate. You settled down for a couple of hours of TV; we resolved ourselves to the 6 hour bus trip home.

Final Tally: Cost of admittance to a day in a National Park--Free if you can prove you have an educational agenda.
Food (all you can fit in a small cooler): Approximately $25 (unless of course you left it in the backseat at 4:50 A.M. this morning--then you'd better hope someone is generous!)
Souvenirs: Depends on how many are in your family!
18 Hours with your favorite teachers mostly on a school bus: priceless...

A Big Day for Norm

I found a ransom note in front of my classroom door last Wednesday morning. It read: "I have your chicken. Please leave cheese in the hall. Nyahaaaaaaaa. Thank you. Nyahaaaaaaaaaa."
My seventh graders were in a panicked uproar. Norm was gone! I posted a note in the hall that instructed the perpetrators to let my chicken go and not to harm him because he knew karate! Speculation ran rampant as to who had taken him and when the crime had taken place. How would we get him back?
"Can we page Norm over the intercom?"
"Do you have a key so we can go through all the lockers?"
"What if Norm is being tortured????"
An eighth grade girl was spotted during class changes with a large bulge in a coat she was carrying? Was that Norm struggling for breath???? All of a sudden a band of emotional 7th graders took the matter into their own hands. The next thing any of us knew the eighth grader had been jumped, her coat wrestled from her devious arms, and Norm came up for air! A brief tug-of-war, a couple of chicken pass-offs down the hall, and we had our beloved fowl back!!!! Oh, it was a glorious victory! Norm appeared none the worse for the wear--although future weeks may reveal some post-traumatic stress symptoms. He's shown here with one of his adoring rescuers. Are we going to press charges? Stay tuned!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Over Easy

I pirated this from my daughter's blog. I see some conji in the right hand corner, so this is Asian of some sort. Trust them to take everything to the unth degree. It's a beautiful Fall Sunday morning here at the Funny Farm. I'm looking out on our fruit heavy branches-to-the-ground crabapple tree. Still waiting for the jelly patrol/brigade to show up at my door. And waiting...and waiting...Fly update-they're sticky and clingy. One wanted to ride my hairbrush this morning like a bucking bronco cowboy!!! They ALL want to be inside now that the weather is cooling off. Can't they take a hint and just DIE???? Good grief. I'm in the wrap-up stages of my sewing room floor sanding marathon. I figure I've logged a roadtrip to Cincinnati and back on my knees with a sander! And the dust--in my ears, eyes, under my fingernails, and imbedded in my scalp AND lungs. Week five on this home improvement project. By the way, how come everybody they ever pick on DIY etc. is young??????????? I think we need to start a Seniors Network! Now THAT would be worth watching. We could follow them to their colonoscopies and then to the golfcourse and off to Sizzler at 4:30 and then move the camera in as they fall asleep in front of the TV at 8:30. Seriously though, TV is soooooooooooo slanted towards being in your 20's and 30's. Rented a commercial sander from a friend on Friday, but that thing threw Paco across the room!! I knew I didn't stand a chance. Rented a smaller one yesterday (second go round with it) and did some finer sanding. Am I boring or WHAT????????? So kicking around the idea of writing some sort of love story on my blog to generate a little heat (I mean interest)--probably mine. Worked for Pioneer Woman. Chicken soup cooking on my stove. HEY!!! WAKE UP!!!!!!!! STICK WITH ME! (shake, poke...) "Stand clear!!! We're about to resuscitate this blog! We are professionals! Do not attempt this at home!" zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....... How do you get your neighbors to nominate you to be on "Desperate Landscapes"? Could my "neighbors" live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey or Arizona perhaps....?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Someday My Prince Will Come"

Here's Lily looking for someone in need of a little wand action! What you can't see are the glass slippers or the clock almost striking midnight. All of a sudden I feel woefully underdressed and abysmally ill-equipped without a wand! Is this fancy or what??? I saw an ad on TV (mixed in with the news about Hurricane Ike) about a couple of gals who design high heel shoes for babies who aren't even walking yet--the heels are kooshy and bend of course. I know that there's a piece of that whole kid market out there with my name on it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Just for Attention-getting Anymore!

I confess that I am a victim of peer pressure. The gentlemen in this video are absolutley positive that this video is going to put them in a higher tax bracket. So hit this site 4 million times and we'll all go out for Snickers bars with our fortune. Note my new couch and my as yet not hung Narnia poster--just waiting to get kicked. Incidentally the hulk hands were broken about 4 nano seconds after this was taken.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Crabapple Tree Swing...and Swinger

So when you come to grandpa and grandma's house it's not too much to expect a little bit of tree experience. During the day this tree sports little sour crabapples and now this swing. Rumor has it that by night the bats use this tree as their very own O'Hare! I'm guessing that the large container of Bat-a-Way sitting unopened on the front porch that a friend dropped off has done little to alleviate the problem. At least this summer they're not flying through the family room at exactly 9 P.M.! This isn't the end of this topic... Before long this cute little swinger will be climbing this tree, chugging down crabapples, chucking them back UP, and probably hawking them down on smaller younger cousins.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Half Goat????

I asked my seventh graders to spend two minutes walking around the room just observing and then write me three questions. I got asked about what the yarn was for (I'm going to teach the kids to knit while I read to them), where I got my awesome fountain (Smith and Edwards), what was the "head" with the slit in the top for (so I can "Put STUFF IN YOUR HEAD!"), and whyI had so many board games (I'm turning them into grammar games). But my favorite question was "Why is there a half goat hanging from your ceiling?" Then I realized that the kid was referring to Skippy who is CERTAINLY not a half goat, thank you! He's a gargoyle and he attempts to keep out evil spirits just like any other respectable gargoyle!!! Oh, and then somebody asked who the "guys" on the bulletin board were. I certainly have my work cut out for me...They're the Beatles in case the glare obscures them. The poster in the lower right hand corner is the IMAGINE memorial to John Lennon in Strawberry Fields in Central Park. We'll be taking students there this May.

Oh, they were also curious as to why I had Incredible Hulk Hands. I really had no answer other than they had screamed "TAKE ME TO SEVENTH GRADE!!!" from the Deseret Industries shelf. That will just have to do. You just never know when big green foamy hands that growl when you push the button are going to be exactly what you need to restore order.

And last but not least, they wondered about the guy with the orange hair hanging over by the Muppets poster. That's Beaker--endearing because of his charming lab coat, his can do attitude, and his unique limited vocabulary. Let the wild rumpus begin...Welcome back to School.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley