Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
A teacher told me about a friend who learned a phrase incorrectly. Instead of saying "in the spur of the moment" she would say "in the sperm of the moment" which totally cracks me up. Actually, I guess many children are in my Kindergarten class today due to the "sperm of the moment".
To those of you who really know me...it just makes me think of "fresh-squoze orange juice".
I had a friend named Gina. She was my age, we graduated from different high schools the same year, we got married the same year...the only major difference was that she suffered from a bacterial infection that caused her to lose both hands and both legs to save her life. She also lost her hearing and had a raspy voice. Despite her ordeal, Gina was a single, divorced mom, a college student, a home maker, a school volunteer...nothing stopped her or slowed her down. Her wheelchair could go faster than my car. She wheeled to the bank, the restaurants, took an lengthy city bus ride just to get to Walmart or the grocery store. She was awesome. I say "was" because Gina died on Christmas night in 2007.
Here is what I want you to take away from this story. I bought a rose bush called "Gina's Rose" to give her for her birthday on May 1st 2007. I didn't make time to get it to her for her birthday. I kept procrastinating and thinking I would get it to her soon. She died 7 months after her birthday and I still had that rose bush sitting on my front porch. She never saw it.
I guess, maybe, I am glad I still have it. It is blooming now, and serves as a reminder for several things: 1) stop complaining because no matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse, 2) have some courage and quit thinking what people say about you behind your back, 3) enjoy every day and every moment, and 4) you really should go to the people who are important to you RIGHT NOW and tell them...don't put it off.
I think Gina's rose is beautiful...just like her.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
It is my goal to post a recipe per week. I hope you enjoy them! Today I want to share the Banana Muffins that we make when the banana skins are starting to turn black. I've never been successful at making banana bread, but these muffins turn out great each time.
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
2 bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal (optional)
1 tsp. soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nut
In large mixing bowl, blend together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Mix in mashed bananas and extracts. Blend well. In small bowl, stir together dry ingredients (flour, flax meal, soda, and salt). Stir into banana mixture just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes, until tops are no longer gooey and muffins are browned.
I love the new silicone muffin tins...they are easier to clean and seem to cook evenly. At QVC they have a set of regular-sized muffin cups and one that is just muffin tops - and they come in fun colors. Consider buying those. No matter which tins you use, these will come out great every time. Also consider using the mini chocolate chips, or no chocolate at all - your choice.
Check back each week for a new recipe. Email me with any questions or comments.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Each year we celebrate "Mothering Sunday" which is British Mother's Day, held each year in March. That way, mom gets two Mother's Day events. This time, we went out to eat at Islands in Palm Desert. She will probably kill me for putting this video on the blog, but it will be worth it because 1) it was nice to see her go out and have fun (she has been quite immobile lately with a major back problem), and 2) it was nice to see her indulge in some dessert - a brownie sundae! In the British version, people return to their hometown on Mothering Sunday to visit their home church and spend time with the family...a bit less commercial than the American day, and a bit more cherished and sincere (or so it feels to me).
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Desert species amaze me. Deserts are one of the harshest environments, and these plants and animals are adapted to live there. Humans either leave or turn on the air conditioner. A Fennec Fox or a Desert Chemise plant can't do that, so they have adapted to this inhospitable biome. I really did not realize this until I took a Desert Ecology class at Cal State. Thanks for teaching me better, Dr. Fehn!
So, what did we see? All kinds of stuff. One of the animals that best represents the desert is the Roadrunner.
Deserts exist all over the planet, and the Living Desert has representatives from many deserts. The Striped Hyena is from Africa. A very impressive animal and the enclosure lets you get up close.
However, some of the best animals are not the big predators, but the smaller critters. There is a special enclosure that has butterflies and hummingbirds. We found a female Costa's Hummingbird sitting on her nest. She laid the egg about a week ago.
Feeding time came when we were looking at the small foxes. One took all of its "catches" and promptly buried them.
All in all, it was a great, if slightly warm, day!