A Little From the Middle

For Father’s Day I made one of the yummiest chocolate sheet cakes.  I can say that, because it’s not my recipe.  It is from scratch, but it doesn’t take tons of work.  It had been a long time since I had made it (I don’t know why and it won’t be a long time before I make it again).  I mean warm chocolate icing poured over warm chocolate cake so that it seeps down into the cake. [sigh].

Over the years it’s been called different names in my house.  Sister Stocket dubbed them her brownies, then Betty Crocker simply called the recipe Texas Sheet Cake Brownies.  I’m kind of partial to Ree’s description over at The Pioneer Woman. She calls it The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

On Monday we had it for dessert for Family Night even (hey, it’s just that good and 8 seconds in the microwave melts the icing JUUUuuuuuust enough). But I had to laugh when I went in after all was said and done and found this…



K. knows what she likes.

Pioneers, Bloomers and Women’s Rights?


Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail


Would you have ever thought bloomers, BLOOMERS, were a part of the Women’s Sufferage Movement?!  Until last week I had absolutely no clue.  I’ve been helping K. getting ready for a Pioneer Trek the youth are taking this week.  I was converting some pjs and checking just a couple of details when google turned up some links on how they came into fashion.

It seems Amelia Bloomer (who edited the first newspaper for women “The Lily”) wanted to reform women’s clothing back in the early 19th century. She felt women should feel attractive in their clothing, but that was secondary to “health, comfort, and usefulness”. So she adopted the outfit pictured above from Elizabeth Smith Miller and publicized it in her paper.

And because they also wanted the right to vote and other rights for women those that wore bloomers were ridiculed and criticized in the press as well as in public.

I will admit, I’m glad they abandoned bloomers.  I can think of other things done in the name of making a statement for women’s rights that I simply wouldn’t have done.  I AM glad that these women had the courage to speak and be a voice for change when they saw it needed to be done.

Amelia wrote in the first issue of The Lily, “Surely, she may without throwing aside the modest refinements which so much become her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals from the destroyer’s path.”

I’d like to sit and talk with her for a while. I think it would be a great conversation.

Just Goes to Sow….

you’re never to old to learn something.  I’ve planted and grown flowers.  But the last time I grew anything that I would eat myself I was knee high to the grasshopper trying to destroy the crops.  Ok, maybe a tad taller, but it was a long time ago.  So I’m starting slow.  One plant.  One tomato plant.  And No, I didn’t start from a seed.  Sometimes you just have to know your limits.

You’ll have to imagine how the little guy looked when first planted about 3 weeks ago.  I didn’t get a picture. It looked so teeny tiny in the pot it was hard to believe  it would ever need a tomato cage or why.  However, This:



was about 10 days later.  I figured I needed that tomato cage and pronto before I couldn’t figure out how to get the plant in the cage.  He really seems to like where he’s planted.  As I said, it’s been 3 weeks… just 10 days after the last picture… and …

One Week


he’s busting out all over!  AND….

First Fruit


there’s an itty bitty tomato!


Ooooooo, I’m so excited!

$1,000,000 Phone

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail



We’re looking at getting a 2-line phone and Amazon is one of our stops for research.  Kevin called me over as we were getting ready for bed and said he’d found the phone we had to get.  I’m not sure what extra features a phone would have for a million dollars, but they would have to be pretty special, right?  Maybe the voicemail is an actual secretary?  You could use that right?  Think of all the messages you’d NEVER miss.  The calls taken by other people when you’re not home and they somehow forget to give you the message.  Wouldn’t that be worth $1,000,000 just to have that agravation gone?!

And for just $69 more you can get an extra handset.  What a deal!  Compared to the first million what’s another $69?!

Interestingly enough, the phone is not available this morning on Amazon and they don’t know when it will be in stock.  You can see the listing here.

Good to know Amazon is on top of things.  But it was fun while it lasted.

Brain Dump

I’m working on a quilt project.  Shhh.. it’s a suprise for…. I’m not even posting who yet.  Just in case he decides to pop in.  All the blocks are done and I’m going to finish the top tomorrow.  

I also sign up for a nine patch a day quilt a long.  WHAT was I thinking?  I’m already behind.  Lots of squares cut, but nothing sewn.  I’m not giving up though, it just may be smaller.  One of these days I’ll have my machine set up all the time in a nice craft room so things like that will be “easier”.  rIIIiiight.

My living room and kitchen are a wreck though.  And we’re having the missionaries over on Monday.  SO that MIGHT take precidence.

It’s Eagle project season again at our house.  I will be patient… I will be patient…

Have you heard about the guy who set a goal to go to every Starbucks in the world?  He’s been traveling all over the place drinking lattes.  He’s hit a stumbling block though as Starbucks keeps closing stores.  He might not be able to achieve his goal!  Somehow I’m having a hard time feeling sympathy for him. 

I watched the semi-finals of the National Spelling Bee today.  I heard words I have NEVER heard before in my life and I think the oldest participant was 14.  The oldest finalist is 13!!  Spelling mystifies me (I use a dictionary a LOT!).  The finals are on now.  The words are even crazier.  I mean “fackeltanz”??  I’d be so doomed.

I want to go back to elementary school!

So long as I could go to this woman’s art class.  Gail Bartel over at that artist woman is a 3rd grade art teacher. Her blog is full of craft and art project tutorials she’s either already taught in class or getting ready to teach. Step by step directions, complete with pictures, for all sorts of cool things to do.  She breaks it down and makes it easy. 

I can’t wait to try this tutorial on Glue Batik.  Oh the possibilities!! 

If you have children, go check it out.  There’s so much to do your children will never utter the words “Mo-om, I’m bored!” this summer. 

If you don’t have children, go check it out and have some fun yourself.  I know I will.


May 15th – the BEST holiday ever!  Today is National Chocolate Chip Day

(YES! I love these people!) 

But what to make?!  Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies?  Oh, SO good.  Especially right out of the oven. 

Or Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Oh, MY GOODNESS.  I cheat (Shhh…) .  I make them from a mix and they are SO YUMMY!

Maybe Magic Bars.  They’re SO quick and easy with the extra KICK of Butterscotch…


Oh… but you can’t forget Chocolate Chip Pie… Oh, NO.  If you haven’t had this pie.  You MUST make this pie.  It’s like having a chocolate chip cookie in a pie.  Please, eat it warm.  It’s really the only way.   I am absolutely going to make this pie today.  It will be a fitting tribute to the Chocolate Chip. 

But I KNOW there are thousands of ways to enjoy chocolate chips.   What would you consider an appropriate way to honor the venerable chocolate chip?

What Does Spring Taste Like?


Strawberries are one the most wonderful gifts we have ever been given.  Fresh out of the box with nothing else added they taste like sunshine, spring and happiness bursting in each sweet bite.

But that’s just the beginning!  There’s strawberry shortcake (which I prefer with pound cake as the base), strawberry smoothies, strawberry jam, chocolate covered strawberries (YUM!), strawberry cheesecake, strawberry pie…the possibilities are astounding.

K. and I went and picked 30+ lbs. of these delightful berries yesterday.  I’ve already made 6 pints of jam and frozen some of the berries for other things in the year.  We had shortcake for dessert last night.  And I still have some in the fridge to have fun with now (YES!).

So what are your favorite strawberry recipes?  I’d love to try some of them.

Homecomings and Beginnings


This was taken 21 years ago this month.  He’d been in the Navy about 5 months at that point and was still in school. We were able to spend the weekend together before he had to get back to school.   He flew in on Friday night and I will never forget the moment our eyes met as he got off the plane.   When all the longing and love we  felt during the months of seperation seemed to coalesce and pass between us in an instant and I knew he was home.  Because we were together.

There were many nights spent waiting for him to come home.  There have been many homecomings.  That moment never lost it’s spark.

He’s retiring from the Navy this month.  He’s home and I am oh so glad to be beginning a new life with him.  Because we’re together.