September 29, 2010

Meet........ the YIPPER!!!

I'm having a MAJOR personality clash with my neighbors.  The neighbor dogs, that is.

I've tried playing nice but she doesn't seem to like me much.  Now, she has convinced her friends (two other "bat-like" dogs that live at her house) that I'm evil also.

She is by far the bravest of her pack.  She comes to the road to bark at me.  She bears her teeth and yips.

"YIP.....YIP.....YIP....  !!!!!"

Over and over again.

See a resemblance?

September 27, 2010

The Voices in my Head

It's Honeycrisp season.  The coveted apple that lives up to it's name.

I bought a sack of them the other day.

Normally I consider it blamsphemy to bake with Honeycrisp apples.  They were meant to be eaten as the Lord created them. BUT........ I found a recipe that beckoned my name.  It said in a ghostie sort of voice, "Mandy, you need to make me."  "Your family will love you."  "You will become famous."  and "People will send you all sorts of money."  "Your children will honor you and your husband will worship the ground you walk on."  

I fell to the temptation.  Peeled and Chopped six Honeycrisp apples to little bites.  Mixed them up in a bowl with all sorts of ingredients.  Then popped it into the oven.  

They were pulled out of the oven two hours ago.  No one has sent me money, asked me for an interview with Barbara Walters, my children have not called and told me that I was the coolest mom ever, and my husband hasn't sent me flowers or diamonds.

Nevertheless, the house smells wonderful.  
Thanks to Bakerella.

 It's called Easy Apple Cake.  Not to be mistaken for Granny's Apple Cake.  (which I made a few weeks ago)  I'm not sure that it was any easier, as the name implies.  The clear difference is that I made this recipe in a 9" X 13" pan instead of a bundt pan.  I will let the official taste testers decide tonight.
I love that you get to poke holes in this cake.  Stab.....stab.....stab......  Kinda feels good.  
Now that you are officially afraid of me.  I will note that I think the holes will make for a moister, 
gooey-er cake.

 Easy Apple Cake
3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups diced apples
1 cup chopped dates rolled in flour
1 cup chopped walnuts


1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and cinnamon with a wire whisk and set aside.
Combine sugar and oil using a mixer until blended.
Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined.
Add flour mixture and mix well.
Stir in nuts, dates and apples. The batter will be very thick.
Pour into a greased and floured 9 X 13 pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done.
Cool cake and using a skewer, poke holes in cake.
Cook topping ingredients on stove until mixture bubbles.
Pour topping over cake letting some (ha… more if you like) seep into the cake.

                from: BAKERELLA

September 26, 2010

On a mushroom frenzy....

Warning: to those who couldn't care less about mushrooms!!!  

This post is jam-packed with 'em!!!  So..... you don't have to humor me by reading.  Really..... it's OK, I understand.
 I, myself, think that mushrooms are somewhat magical.  They make me think of fairies, and trolls and gnomes.  ( I watch Tinkerbell movies.  Shhh, it's a secret!)
Mushrooms make me think of stories that begin with, "Once upon a time in a land far-away..."
I went to Pershing Park Friday.  It had rained all week.  So everything was moist and squishy.  That, my friends, is prime mushroom habitat.  If I'm being honest, I didn't go there to take pictures of mushrooms.  I went there to see possible wildlife.  You know, lions......tigers.....bears, and such!!!  

However, I saw only two creatures.  This snail and a turtle.  The turtle was far away (in the water).  So technically, that doesn't even count.  
 But still, the snail is cute, ayy?


 Mr. Mushroom.  I think you're beautiful!
Now, if you haven't had enough of my mushroom antics.  I will leave you with two fabulous poems by two very smart ladies...............

The Mushroom
The mushroom is the elf of plants,
At evening it is not;
At morning in a truffled hut
It stops upon a spot
As if it tarried always;
And yet its whole career
Is shorter than a snake's delay,
And fleeter than a tare.
'Tis vegetation's juggler,
The germ of alibi;
Doth like a bubble antedate,
And like a bubble hie.
I feel as if the grass were pleased
To have it intermit;
The surreptitious scion
Of summer's circumspect.
Had nature any outcast face,
Could she a son condemn,
Had nature an Iscariot,
That mushroom,--it is him.

-Emily Dickinson
There was a land I once heard tell
‘Twas christened Mushroom Down
The folk who lived there loved it well
And never left their town
They stayed there from the hour of birth
Until the day they died
They never cared for any earth
Except their Mushroom pride
They made their homes beneath the caps
Of fungi wide and tall
And when time came for tea perhaps
A neighbor came to call
And while they sat in shade serene
And offered cream and cakes
They talked of things they’d never seen
Beyond the Mushroom lakes
They did not wish to journey there
They were contented so
But past the mossy banks somewhere
Lie what they did not know
More curious they grew by day
And still more so by night
They wondered if there were away
To take a Mushroom flight
Tormented by this new desire
More restless they became
And many began to conspire
On blueprints for a frame
A brilliant flying vehicle
Of mushroom caps and string
One gent proved astronautical
And built the very thing
And so the day arrived at last
On which the plane should board
The celebration went far past
What they could best afford
But they were folks of merry ways
And when the kegs were drained
In unison arose their gaze
And on the stroke --- it rained
Now in the hist’ry of the town
No soul had ever seen
A flood the likes of which poured down
Upon the Mushroom Green
A gathering was held betwixt
The elders late that night
And even their votes were unmixed:
“We must postpone the flight!”
The disappointment through the land
Was more than some could bear
For their own world, once thought so grand,
They did no longer care
To say the least it was a shame
To see the people act
As though they’d lost their hope, their flame
When their poor plans were sacked
But still the rain continued on
For more than fifty days
Their mushroom store was almost gone
They dreamt of sunshine rays
And that’s when they began to cease
Their thoughts of other towns
If only this storm would decrease
They’d cherish Mushroom Downs
That night was spent in blackness deep
No star was seen to shine
But when the morning broke their sleep
They saw a sight divine
The rain was nowhere to be found
The sky was fresh and clear
Hurrahs of joy for miles around
Were all that one could hear
And what is more, the earth had sprung
New mushrooms overnight
And many hymns of praise were sung
And no one spoke of flight
And so at last the ballad ends
With happiness sublime
And so the story goes, my friends
That is, until next time… 

-Emillie Autumn

September 24, 2010

A Week in a Nutshell

This week in a nutshell:
My creative bug left me after Mike died.  It's slowly coming back to me.  I've had urges to create, yet no time to follow through.  I scattered all my chalks out the other day to draw something on my kitchen chalkboard.  I got distracted however, then ended up taking photos of the chalk.  Instead of drawing a picture, I wrote a verse.  That seemed to serve a better purpose than the drawing at the moment.  Like I said, I'm slowly coming back.
Ryan's team has lost for the second week in a row.  But it's not from lack of trying on Rhino's part.  This isn't just because I'm his mother, but I think he's doing a fine job.
Ian's so fun to watch play.  It's like someone turns this "tackle" switch on in his brain.  He turns from a teddy bear to a maniac with the snap of the ball.  I wish that you could all see him.  
He caught me trying to take a photo of him at practice.  If you have remotely followed this blog in the past, you know that Ian despises his photo taken.  So, he turned away from me.  I was relentless.  Waiting......... until he turned his head back towards me.  I WILL get this picture!!!!  Ohh... and I did!!!
A turkey vulture (which is the ugliest bird on this planet) took temporary residence on a hay bale by the pond.  I'm sure he was scouting out snakes or mice.  All those vile creatures that I share 50 acres with.  Ughh!!!  

I just finished this series.  LOVED IT!!!  If you like Survivor, American Gladiator, or the Borne series, you will love this!!!  

I ventured back into youth fiction, can't help it.  That's where my heart is.  (and my brain too!)

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Ours is full of baseball, soccer and football.  Surprised!!  Huh! 

September 23, 2010

Bats and spiders and skeletons.....oh my!!!

The Smith house is starting to look a little SPOOKY!  I couldn't decide if I had the energy to decorate this year.  Cause' this "Mummy" runs her bandages off all day.  Now, I'm glad that I did.
I have skeletons dangling from everywhere!!!
Mostly "high up" places because my fat bulldog doesn't know the difference between a ham bone and a skeleton.  To him, a bone is a bone.  

Yummy platters of eye balls
And rabid bats handing from the light fixtures.

I have two all time favorite Halloween decorations.  This is one of them.

He is my second favorite.

My mums have (so far) survived my wrath.
.....and Gus is unimpressed by it all.  However, the goblin at the base of the basement steps gave him a fright.  I had to hug it and talk to it in a sweet voice to let him know it was harmless.  Geez, the things I do for this household.

September 20, 2010

Our "Real" American Girl

This girl begins planning for her birthday on September 15th.  (the day after her birthday)  Her ideas are expensive grand!  Her birthday list is a mile long well thought out!
For her 9th birthday, she wanted to go to American Girl.  So, guess where Princess got to go!!!  

I must say that she was a little overwhelmed.  Dolls EVERYWHERE!  Doll clothes EVERYWHERE!  Doll assessories EVERYWHERE!  She darted here and there looking for the best way to spend her money.  

Gracie bought Lanie☝.   Plus a couple outfits to change her into.  

Afterwards we stopped in the Disney store for a little dress-up.  

We also had a little party for Gracie at school.  Just cupcakes and juice.  She loves it when I come to school.  It doesn't matter if I'm doing lice checks with the school nurse or bringing birthday treats.  In this photo, the class is singing "Happy Birthday" to her.

The original Mad Hatter (hehe)
Macy Boo-Boo
Aunt P with Macy
Dana is grabbing a squeeze from Pammy
Dana, Heather, and Grandma Charlotte.