Saturday, February 26, 2011

Confusion or Promise?

During the snow storm, these robins found refuge in our walnut tree.

Are they confused or is this a promise that spring is coming soon?
(I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the latter)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Before Caller ID

I know that many people no longer have land lines but we still do.  The only phone that shows the Caller ID has bit the dust and I'm lost without it!  Not only am I hooked to the wall when talking on the phone, but I have to answer without knowing who is calling!

Back in the dark ages, before any form of Caller ID, we'd be plagued with weird phone calls. Hooligans would call after midnight to ask if our fridge was running.  We got calls from an irate man demanding to talk to the sheriff whose last name is the same as ours.  Solicitors would call all hours of the day, hoping to sell a magazine, tickets to the circus, or a freezer full of food.  And of course, there were the obscene phone calls.

In the early 80s, I got calls frequently from a man who would ask strange questions that usually started with, "Have you ever...?", or "Would you like to...?", or "What if I...?"  It was maddening.  Many times I called the operator to see if there was anything we could do to prevent him from calling.  Nothing was done about it.  I banned the kids from answering the phone, hoping to prevent them from hearing his lewd, demented remarks. One evening, after a period of several weeks, with no phone calls from my friend, the phone rang. Camille, who was 7 years old at the time, answered it.  I could tell by the confused look on her face that she wasn't talking to Grandma. I immediately grabbed the phone from her, put it to my ear and heard his voice.  Completely frustrated and enraged that he'd talk to my daughter, I said in a threatening tone,   "We are having your number traced!  Don't you EVER call again!"   I slammed down the phone, then turned to Camille who had a scared and bewildered look on her face.  With my heart racing I asked, "Honey, what did he say?"  
In a sheepish voice, she answered, "He asked, 'Does your mom have big BOOTS?'"

Hmmmm!  He must have been a shoe salesman!  Anyone who knows me or who have followed my blog for any length of time, know that I DO indeed have big boots.  Size 11 to be exact!  (As for what he really asked...I'll leave it at that)

I'm going out NOW to buy a phone with a Caller ID display!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't Leave Home Without It!

Tauna tagged me on her blog.  I'm supposed to tell five things I won't leave home without.  Tauna asked if I was abnormal and hoped that I am.  Actually, I'm very basic.  If I could leave home with a phone and debit card in my jeans pocket, I'd be happy.  However, it doesn't work out that way.  So without further ado, here are 5 things I won't leave home without:
1. My purse  

If you've followed my blog, you know that I took a fanny pack to China.  "Hands free, valuables close",  that was my motto.  Even though I want people to think that's my every day bag, it's not - but it's still fun to pretend.  (Is that abnormal enough?)  
2. Debit card:

I seldom carry much cash.  I remember as a child, having a dime in my pocket at all times in case I needed to make a phone call.  That brings me to the next thing I can't leave home without.
3. Cell Phone:

Even if I don't make a phone call, I have every family member's phone number, my calendar and camera in my phone.  It's my brain!
4.  Hand Sanitizer:
I don't think I'm a germ-a-phobe but maybe I am.  It's nice to know I can eat some peanut M&Ms with clean hands when I open a package in the store! :)
5. Lip gloss

I need something on my lips, if not some color from the lip gloss then the moisture from chap stick.  
That's me.  Just plain old boring.
One more thing:  
I made the sauerkraut cake and I have a few words to say about it:
Don't be afraid to make it!  

It's moist, dense, chocolatey, flavorful and it's  good enough to serve to guests.  I took it to my Weight Watcher's meeting to serve to all the losers there!  Although taking a cake to a meeting like that is a little unorthodox, it's a WW recipe so it's got to be lower in calories, right?  The people there loved it but then they probably haven't had cake in the past few months.  Anything would taste good!
Here's the simple recipe, in case you want to try it.  I say - go for it!!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sauerkraut, pureed until smooth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add melted butter, hot water and vanilla, mix well.  Add sauerkraut and blend thoroughly.
Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in center of oven until cake is done, about 55 to 60 minutes.  Cool cake in pan for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a baking rack to cool completely.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder or powdered sugar before slicing into 14 pieces. 

As you can see, I dolled it up a bit for the Hubs.  Even on a paper plate it looks good. 
Eat your vegetables!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lucky Winner!

I have a cake in the oven.  It doesn't have beets as an ingredient, it has sauerkraut instead. Not sure how that one will turn out.  I'll let you know.

I'll also let you know the winner of the Ultimate Cake mix Cookbook and apron.  (The sauerkraut cake is NOT from the cookbook.  It's another Weight Watchers recipe) And  the modeler of the apron isn't part of the giveaway.  I still have dishes for him to do.

The winner is:


Come on down and claim your prize!  
(Just kidding, I'll send it to you)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Treat and a Giveaway!

I must have a cupcake fetish.   This is my third cupcake post in the past few weeks.  I must admit that these cupcakes are better than the beet infested treats in a previous post.  They're perfect for Valentine's Day and because you don't have to worry about the frosting getting on plastic wrap, they're perfect for giving as gifts to neighbors, co-workers, etc.

These are super simple.  Just make a batch of cupcakes using your favorite mix (I used Pillsbury because it was on sale).  Follow the directions on the box.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill 2/3 full with batter.  Bake 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until cupcakes are done.   Remove from oven and let sit in the pans for 10 minutes before taking them out.  When the cupcakes are completely cool, cut the top off with a serrated knife.  With a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut a heart out of the top of the cupcake. 

You can use a container of store-bought frosting that you've dyed pink, or make your own frosting.  I prefer the home-made kind.  Put a generous spoonful of frosting on the cupcake that's still in the liner.  Carefully spread without pulling bits of the exposed cake into the frosting, mounding it up a bit in the middle.   Place the top of the cupcake on the frosting, gently press, and voila, a Valentine treat! 
You might be asking what to do with the small, heart shaped cakes that are left over.  Put frosting on them.  They're perfect to share with your family...or pop in your mouth when no one is looking! 
(No calories)

I got this recipe from a wonderful cake mix book.

I fell in love with it when I saw it in the store.  Each recipe has a full paged, color picture of what it's supposed to look like. 

There are recipes for cookies, bars,

fancy cakes

and ideas for kids' cakes.

After I bought the book and brought it home, I thought that this would be a good book to give away.  I called three stores before I found another book.  That store had only one left and I got it!  Here's the giveaway:

The Ultimate Cake Mix Book
This country-style, full apron!

It has some cute details.  Large pockets, contrasting bands at the hem, and "Home Sweet Home" embroidered on the bodice.

(Where are my daughters when I need a model?)
As you can tell, it's even big enough for the Hubs to wear while washing the dishes. (I think he's sucking it in, what do you think?)
I know you're anxious to win these awesome kitchen accessories and you're asking; "Connie, how do I enter this fabulous giveaway?"

Just leave a comment!  Hooray!  Simple!
If you're a follower, your name gets put in twice.  
If you're really wanting to win, knowing that your husband could wear that apron and be useful in the kitchen, you can blog, FB or tweet about it.  Just come back and let me know and you'll have another chance.
This will end Wednesday evening, February 16th.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


It's good to do service.  It's better to know what you'll be doing for that service.

A group of us volunteered to can chili at the Lindon Cannery.   This chili is placed at the Bishop's Storehouse for those in need.  When we arrived we were told to take off our shoes and put on boots, hairnets and gloves.  No problem.
Next we were handed goggles.  It made me wonder what kind of toxic chili we were canning!

We soon learned that our service was cleaning up after the chili canners!  

This Girls' Night Out...

brought out the best in us!

(Don't be jealous)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How Do You Spell Relief?

I spell it R.E.L.E.A.S.E
After serving as Relief Society President of our ward for the past 4 1/2 years, it's time for someone else to "receive the blessings" and for the ladies in the ward to have someone new.
Of course, this comes with mixed emotions.  
So...what's next?  I told our new Bishop I would do a fantastic job straightening the hymn books after church.  He just looked at me, expressionless.  I'm not sure if he agrees with me or not.
Tonight I'm celebrating/lamenting with a 56 oz. bag of Peanut M&Ms.  Who needs the resealable zipper? 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Expressive Language

Six-year-old G is a speech student working on expressive language.  We were looking at "Let's Predict" cards during therapy.  One card has a picture of a woman getting her hair cut.  I asked him what was happening in the picture:
G - She's getting her hair cut.
Me - What do you think people will say when they see her hair cut?
G - They'll say she looks like a boy and they don't like her hair!
Me - Girls can have short hair, can't they?
G - No, girls look dumb with short hair.  They look like boys.
Me - I have short hair.  Am I a boy, or a girl?
He looked at me through his thick glasses and said, "You have white hair so you're a girl!"

I think it's time to release G from speech.  He can express himself just fine!