30 April 2009
Uh-oh! Heer she comes!
29 April 2009
5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake (serves at least 2)
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa (she used unsweetened cocoa, which I liked but she thought was a bit too bitter)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (microwave safe)
Add dry ingredients to mug and 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 extract, and mix again. Put mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes. 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. (Be careful when removing the mug from the microwave.)
Here's the batter mixed up and ready to go in the microwave.
And here it is tipped out on a plate. Not the most attractive dessert but trust me, it was pretty tasty. It would be quite good served with ice cream!
Note: We decided that this cake needs to be eaten right away or shared by 2-3 people because as it sat out, it became a little rubbery around the edges.
28 April 2009
27 April 2009
Click here for the contest homepage. Click on the "vote" tab, then search for "Lily". You must register to vote, but once you do, you can vote for Lily up to 5 times per day through May 5! The winner receives a year of cat food plus a photo shoot and will be featured in the Des Moines Register. If Lily wins, she will donate cat the cat food to our local no-kill shelter.
3. Baseball card holders. They're the perfect size for the senior pictures we seem to be collecting these days. I'll eventually put the entire sheet, as is, into a 3-ring binder scrapbook.
24 April 2009
My mama gose to teh fitnes plaice so mabe i shud to.
Hmmm...Furst i need to mak sum fitnes goles, like stop steelin Tinsel's fuds...
Okai dis is to hard i skip dis step!
Now i need to adjus dis levr fur my size cat...
22 April 2009
Such a good time was had on this road trip that we're already looking forward to the next one. Believe me, I'll be packing a spare roll of tp. :-)
20 April 2009
18 April 2009
17 April 2009
15 April 2009
My maternal grandma was a very creative person. She painted, sewed, and made all kinds of beautiful things. When I was a little girl, Grandma made me a circus train. She painstakingly traced and cut giraffes, tigers, bears, and elephants from construction paper and adorned them them with fabric, sequins and glitter. Over time, she made enough circus animals to extend all around the cement walls of our basement. Whenever I played there, I was surrounded by Grandma's amazingly detailed creations.
When my parents decided to put up paneling in our basement, they told me that the circus train needed to be taken down. But I couldn't imagine moving it, and I begged them to leave it in place. I believed that if I left the circus train behind the paneling, it would be preserved forever.
So my parents did as I requested. They put up the paneling right over my circus train. And even though I could no longer see it, I was happy knowing that my circus train was still there in the basement, right where it belonged.
Then, as often happens, I grew up and realized the error of my ways. I was sorry I'd asked my parents to panel over the circus train. I wanted to be able to see it and touch it again. Just thinking about the circus train made me sad. I knew that after all those years behind the paneling, the beautiful animals and wagons had surely disintegrated. I felt like I had lost an important part of my childhood, something handmade by my grandma just for me.
A few years ago, my grandma passed away and as we were cleaning out her house, Mom and I happened upon a dark green folder. Inside it were 25 elephants, animal patterns carefully drawn on tracing paper, and partially constructed circus wagons. Imagine my delight! Grandma had created extra circus train pieces and had saved them for me.
I told my mom how much I regretted asking them to panel over my circus train all those years ago. Then to my great surprise, she replied, "We didn't do it. We knew you'd change your mind some day, so we took it down and saved it for you." That was my mom. She sometimes knew me better than I knew myself.
I never got my circus train from my mom before she passed away last year, but I know that it's tucked away safely somewhere in my parents' house. I'll find it someday, when it's time for me to look for it.
For now, I have the green folder filled with elephants and circus wagons and girls on tightropes. It feels good to hold the pieces in my hands. It feels like home. It reminds me that I was loved.
14 April 2009
12 April 2009
10 April 2009
Every time I open the corner cupboard, the cats make a beeline for it. If they manage to sneak in before I can catch them, they step carefully over the dishes and head straight to the very back corner. There they sit, like they're in their own little private cave. Once they're in the back corner, they can only be extracted with deli sliced turkey!
Normally I don't allow them to go inside the cupboard. It's obviously not sanitary for them to be climbing through the dishes, and there's also the possibility that they might get squished. But today they both managed to sneak in while my back was turned, so I let them stay for a little while. Of course, this means that I now have to wash all the dishes.
Small price to pay for a little Feline Friday fun. :-)
08 April 2009
07 April 2009
Clorox Oxi Magic!
Every single day, new stains appear on our carpet. Unfortunately, I have no other humans to blame because almost 100% of the stains are caused by me, Tinsel, or Lily due to one of the following circumstances:
* Sneezing while carrying a full cup of coffee (seems I only sneeze with coffee in hand)
* Tripping while carrying a full cup of coffee up or down the stairs
* Tinsel throwing up
* Lily throwing up
* Tinsel choosing to "use the bathroom" someplace other than the litterbox
I have tried every carpet stain remover on the market with limited success. Last week, however, my stain removing needs reached a new level: While scrapbooking on the floor (my usual spot), I knocked over an ENTIRE CUP of coffee. While I ran down the hall to get a towel, the stain grew to mammoth proportions and darkened menacingly (even though there was plenty of Creme Brulee creamer in it).
NOTHING would budge that stain. I worked for days on it, but each day it seemed to get worse. I finally put a towel over it and contemplated moving the furniture (or moving out).
A few days later on a trip to our local Big Lots store, I found a bottle of Clorox Oxi Magic, a multi-purpose cleaner which works on carpet. It was only a couple of dollars, so I took a bottle home with me.
To my complete amazement, after just a couple of applications, the basketball-sized coffee stain was completely gone! Even in bright sunlight, there is no evidence of my Saturday morning mishap.
Now I'm walking around the house like some kind of stain sheriff, squirting every coffee spill and cat throw-up stain in sight. I might as well be wearing my Oxi Magic bottle in a holster! Unfortunately, the carpet now looks so much better that I'll be hard-pressed to convince Spouse that it needs to be replaced!
06 April 2009
05 April 2009
As you've probably guessed, I have a ton of show choir layouts to make for this season alone. Once again, a Picasa collage came to my rescue! My daughter had taken several pictures on the bus ride to this show choir invitational, so I combined some of our favorites into the collage on the left page. (Notice how this scrapbooker's daughter took pictures of the backs of their sweatshirts showing the choir names? *sigh* She makes her mommy proud! I'm obviously raising her right! lol)
Anyway, I "faked" a collage on the right page using some backstage photos I snapped as the girls were getting ready for the competition. (I just matted the four pictures on a big piece of white cardstock using the same margins as in the real collage.) I pushed both collages together at the center of the layout to create a continuous flow from page to page. Finally, I added strips of black with rounded outside corners and red subtitles to visually tie the two pages together.
04 April 2009
Old Product Alert: I used some older (hoarded) Chatterbox striped paper and newer (but also hoarded) American Crafts felt Thickers. For some reason, I have accumulated more than my share of brown buttons, so I had to add a few of those, too. :-)
03 April 2009
01 April 2009
The tag how-to...
- Go to the photos folder on your computer.
- Go to the seventh folder of photos.
- Go to the seventh photo.
- Put the seventh photo on your blog along with a description.
- Invite seven friends to join.
This is a photo of my daughter at our District History Day competition back in 2006. It just so happens that this year's competition takes place this very week, and for the first time, my daughter will be helping out as a judge.
If you're not familiar with National History Day, you can read about it here. I've been a judge for perhaps eight years now. It's one of the most interesting and educational activities I've been involved with, and I always enjoy talking with students about their projects.
The photo above shows my daughter's 8th grade exhibit which focused on Olympia Brown, a lesser known activist for women's suffrage and religious freedom. She created the exhibit to look like picket signs, and each one was anchored in a paint can filled with sand. (We didn't realize how heavy sand is until we had to carry three paint cans full of it through our very large state historical building!)
After awhile, her curiosity satisfied, Lily jumped down and ventured on her way.