Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Christmas Time or as some of us call it X-mas!

Count your blessing folks! It is so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in the gifts and what to get for whom. Don't lose sight of the reason for the season. Cherish your family and friends, without them you would have nothing. This is a special time of year meant for spending time with those who mean the most to you.

On another note, there was a little bit of drama in my office last week having to do with a fellow co-worker using X-mas instead of Christmas. Some people took offense to this. I would like to point out that X-mas is perfectly acceptable to use, as it has it's roots in Christ's name. X is the Greek letter for Chi which is the first part of the Greek word for Christ. For an explanation click here.
Of course everyone is entitled to their own feelings about this, but I thought I would float that out there for consideration. I would also like to point out that most people do not use X-mas as a way to deride Christmas and Christ. It is an abbreviation, generally speaking this is not malicious or a way of 'crushing' the Christians as was claimed by a co-worker the other day.

There are many symbols in Christianity, and generally I believe that we should have respect for others and their beliefs. WE should not be so quick to jump on others because they MAY have said or done something that doesn't quite jive with what we believe.

P.S. Since I could not say anything at work I will say it here......Grow up and stop being so sensitive.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Breakfast date

Jeff took me out Sunday morning for a breakfast date. We went to Another Broken Egg Cafe off Greenville. I recommend it, the breakfast was good! Check out the menu here. Those of you who know me, know that I love breakfast. Jeff had an omelet and I had eggs benedict. But not just any eggs benedict.... I had Crab Cavallo eggs benedict. They put crab cakes instead of ham on the english muffin. Hello crab cavallo, where have you been all my life? I inhaled this dish. The hollandaise was among the better hollandaise sauces I've had in a restauarnt and the poached eggs were mmmmmmmm, good. I had a vanilla latte that was molten hot and oh so good. I only wish I had ordered it earlier in the meal.
The place is charming, small, and bright (they have a lot of windows). Next time I think I shall try a mimosa. I believe this will be our destination for the traditional Christmas Eve breakfast for my family.

Anywho, go check this place out..... you won't be sorry. :)

Another Broken Egg - Dallas #2
5500 Greenville Ave., Suite 1300
Dallas, TX 75206
7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Mon-Fri (Closed Christmas/Thanksgiving)
7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sat/Sun

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas time and the great ornament hunting of Fred

So it's Christmas time folks. I found myself walking around Fry's last night singing along with the music they were piping into the store. I can't remember the song, but rest assured I sounded great. The software on the shelf told me so. Strangely enough I bought a book from Fry's. Weird I know, one would think you would buy something electronic. I really went there for a pillow pet thing but they only had bumble bees and I have been informed that those are just not acceptable.....I am to locate a lady bug pillow pet. I personally think the bumble bee one is cute.

Any ways, the point here is that it is Christmas time and I will be getting out Christmas decorations after work this evening. This means getting a christmas tree and decorating it. This also means that Fred cat will now have infintely more things to hunt. He loves ornaments. We discovered this last year when we started finding ornaments that had been deposited in front of the bedroom door. Then we started finding ornaments left in the water dish. Fred seems to be particularly fond of the little cloth gingerbread men my grandmother sent me last year. He carries them around until he finds a suitable place to put them. I found a stash of them in the hidey hold of the cat tree this spring. Sigh. I'm 1/2 tempted to not put any ornaments up on the tree. I know it's a matter of time before he starts climbing the dang thing and breaking the fragile ornaments. I need a cat deterrent for my tree, any ideas?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This is my horoscope for today:
Virgo - August 23 - September 22Maintain a positive attitude, Virgo, and things will naturally flow your way. Tell a few jokes and keep things light and energetic. You will find that you can multitask very well and you have the ability to make everyone smile. Don't shy away from things - move toward them. Put away your self-doubt and be more proactive in your approach to everything you encounter.

And for the rest of us in blogger world:

Aries - March 21 - April 19
You will find that discipline, organization, and a bit of a dramatic flair are exactly the things needed to be successful today, Aries. Just because you have to be practical doesn't mean that you have to be stern and grumpy. Remember that taking care of serious matters can actually be fun as long as you maintain a positive attitude about the situation. A smile goes a long way.

Taurus - April 20 - May 20
You might find it difficult to deal with people on an emotional level today, Taurus. Others could seem too demanding of your attention, and want to keep the focus on themselves. At the same time, you will probably need a bit more attention than usual. Try not to be so stubborn! Give people the love they need and you will find that the love you require will come to you as well.

Gemini - May 21 - June 20
You might find your emotions a bit dampened today, Gemini, but this may not be a bad thing. Try not to blow things out of proportion so much. Don't feel that you need to turn every small story into a major headline. There's no need to exaggerate the truth just to get more attention. Take a more reserved approach to your actions and reactions to all situations.

Cancer (This is Jeff's) - June 21 - July 22
Make sure you get your daily dose of laughter and try to come out of your shell a bit more, Cancer. This is an important time for you to let go of your inhibitions and open up to the world. You may find that there's a sober tone to your emotions, but you can overcome this easily as long as you keep your chin up. There's no reason for you to be gloomy.

Leo - July 23 - August 22
This is an important day for you to give thanks for all that you have, Leo. Give your loved ones extra hugs and let them know how much they mean to you. If things start to get a bit too serious and somber, you're the one who can pull others out of the rut. There is no need to be sad when you have so much to be happy about.

Libra - September 23 - October 22
Maintain a positive attitude, Virgo, and things will naturally flow your way. Tell a few jokes and keep things light and energetic. You will find that you can multitask very well and you have the ability to make everyone smile. Don't shy away from things - move toward them. Put away your self-doubt and be more proactive in your approach to everything you encounter

Scorpio - October 23 - November 21
This may be one of those days when you feel completely alone even if there are hundreds of people around, Scorpio. No one seems to understand your perspective. Your incredible sensitivity and emotionalism is putting you in a category all your own. Try not to ostracize yourself from the group. Reach out instead of pull away. You have more in common with other people than you think.

Sagittarius - November 22, - December 21
Balance your boisterous, adventurous nature with a bit of discipline today, Sagittarius. It's important to laugh, but it's also important to stay on task with your duties. The good news is that both of these things can work in tandem. They aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, one will help you achieve the other. Be serious, but have a good time and keep things in perspective.

Capricorn - December 22 - January 19
There may be a thousand things for you to do today, Capricorn, but you can only get them done if you concentrate on one at a time. Take a lighthearted approach. You will never finish by focusing on the sheer amount of work you have to do. Break it up into smaller pieces and delegate tasks if you can. Try to see the fun side of things. Schedule in breaks and snacks.

Aquarius - January 20 - February 18
No matter what you're doing today, have fun, Aquarius. Whistle a tune. Turn the stereo up to full volume and dance around the kitchen as you make dinner. You can find amusement in just about anything, so keep this in mind as you tackle even the menial tasks. You're responsible for your own attitude, so don't blame anyone else for a sour mood. Turn yourself around and have fun.

Pisces - February 19 - March 20
You might need to spend time alone in order to reset your programming, Pisces. Other people's influence may be seeping into your psyche. There's no reason to always do or say what other people dictate. Your sensitivity helps you understand things about others, but it can also bring you down if you start to take on their burdens. Try to counterbalance this tendency with more of your own energy.

I think it's funny that most horoscopes are so innocuous that it's easy to make it personal. I don't put much stock in horoscopes or any of the astrology stuff really. But sometimes it is fun to go read horoscopes. What is your zodiac sign? Do you regularly check your horoscope?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tequila Tasting

Dad and I recently had the opportunity to go to Cantina Laredo and do a tequila tasting with a rep from Jose Cuervo. We tried 4 different kinds of tequila, starting with a silver, moving on to a reposado, then a platino , and then finally a reposado reserva de la familia. This is the reserva de la familia.
The rep told us that the bottle alone costs $235 and the label is created by a famous artist specifically for that year. My favorite was the reserva, it was almost like have a brandy after dinner. Dad liked reposado the best. The rep said the reserva goes best with dessert and she was right.
We ate a 4 course dinner at this tasting, the first course was a small shrim cocktail (I gave it to Dad), the second course was an awesome roasted poblano potato soup (which I have recently procured the recipe for), the third course we had the option of having sea bass or pork chops (both were amazing!!!), and for dessert we had cinnamon ice cream with what seemed like coconut, caramel and cinnamon sugar tortilla strips. It was a great experience and I eagerly awaiting the opportunity to do it again.

Brisket, Ribs, and a day spent outdoors....

This Thanksgiving we hosted my Uncle Rob, my two cousins (Robbie and Lianna) and Lianna's boyfriend, Mike (I'll find a picture of hime).
We had a great time catching up and just playing around. Took them to Kelly's Eastside for dinner on Wednesday, Freebirds on Friday, and Twisted Root for lunch on Saturday. For Saturday dinner we smoked brisket, baby back ribs, and 2 beer can chickens. The brisket we rubbed in mustard and then Lianna made up a rub that we will never be able to recreate as we didn't think to write it down. We did the same for the ribs, everything turned out great. The guys spent the majority of the day outside tending the smoker and just generally hanging out.

Erin and Brian chilled with us most of the holiday, I think Lianna and Erin hit it off. All in all it was a great day! We had a lot of fun and great food.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Cats

These are my two cats:

Bucky (black) and Fred (grey). Bucky is going on 3 years old and we're not sure how old Fred is, if I had my guess I'd say close to 2.

Favorite people: eachother, Fred - me; Bucky - Jeff and my Dad
Favorite places to sleep include: on clean laundry, the bed, inside the dryer, on my chest, on top of the couch cusions, and on their cat tree.

Favorite toys include: cat nip mice, the dog, milk tabs, each other.

Favorite activites include: forced groomings (Bucky holds down Fred and grooms), sleeping, eating, hunting, meowing for no reason, getting stuck inside cabinets, dropping things in the water dish, and disrrupting anything that I am working on.

Fred recently caught and ate 1/2 of a pizza crust that had been tossed in the sink. He is becoming quite the proficient hunter. So far he has caught and destroyed a whole bag of egg noodles, a hotdog, a stryofoam cup of ramen, a twinkie, a couple of Christmas ornaments (they were sacrificed to the water dish for some reason), a small plastic horse - again deposited in the water dish, a couple Sonic peppermints and countless milk tabs. Fred is currently in the process of trying to take down my queen bed, but it has proven to be a difficult kill for him thus far. Not for lack of trying though!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Do you think that everyone has a need to make an impact in the world? Or is it just a few people?
Is it something that lies dormant until inspiration hits? Or are some people just born that way?

I feel like I am meant to do more with my life than work for Big Box Co. And it may sound arrogant but I feel like my life should mean more than just sitting in a cubicle everyday. Most of the things in my day to day life impacts myself and a few other people. I want to make an impact, leave my mark on the world..... so that when I leave the world I can feel like I am leaving it a little better than it was before I got here. I feel like I just haven't found my cause yet. There are so many to choose from.

I wonder if Nancy Brinker (founder of Susan G. Komen) knew that her mission would take off and become one of the first thing that comes to millions (if not billions) of people's minds when they hear the words breast cancer.

Here are a list of organizations (not all, just a few) that I support or am considering supporting.....
What organizations do you support?

Susan G. Komen
Ordinary People Change the World
Ronald McDonald House
Let's Say Thanks
National MS Society
The Humane Society

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Diane Arbus

"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know." ~ Diane Arbus

I once wrote a term papber about Diane Arbus. We were allowed to pick any topic and my Dad had just introduced me to her work. I don't know why but her work made an impact. She was a strange person, and I don't mean that in a bad way. If you look at her photographs you can see. She took pictures of 'deviant' people- dwarves, giants, transvestites, nudists, circus performs, etc. I wouldn't necessary call her subjects deviant so much as people who sometimes live on the fringe of society.

Here are a few of my favorites of hers:

The top two photos I like because in the first one, whatever is going on here looks absolutely hysterical. In the second one I can only imagine what the Disney Land castle looked like when she took that photo.

The twins creep me out, particularly the one on the left. I wonder who they are....
The lady with the dog is neat, for one thing there is the possibility that this is a man. I don't think it is but with Arbus it's hard to tell sometimes. I love her pose, it's so out of place for the room... and that carpet is just wild.

This kid.... the only thing I can say is awesome!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pork Chops

We had pork chops for dinner on Sunday, they were good. I marinated 3 chops in Stubbs BBQ sauce. The other 3 I made up a marinade, it turned out quite good. I think I will use this marinade again, it added a lot of flavor to the chops. Unfortunately I didn't measure anything..... here's my best guess:

½ a Lemon zested
Juice of ½ a Lemon
1-2 T Honey
Couple good shakes Soy sauce
2 spoons full Hoisin sauce (maybe 1-2 T)
2 glugs of Vegetable oil
Garlic powder

Next time I will use fresh garlic. I also tried a new macaroni and cheese recipe... pretty tasty! But of course it's hard to go wrong when you use an Alton Brown recipe. Here's the recipe, it's well worth the effort.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese - Alton Brown
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

I used radiatore instead of the usual macaroni. My only complaint about this recipe is, I microwaved some leftovers and that didn't go so well. I'm sure if you baked it in the oven it would probably turn out better. I've got meatloaf, skillet ziti, and maybe spaghetti with bolognese sauce on the menu for this week. We'll see if all of that get's made. Have a great week everybody.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I have horses, I drive a truck, and I wear cowboy boots. First I'm a Texan. ~ Henry Thomas

One must always have one's boots on and be ready to go. ~ Michel de Montaigne

While I don't have horses (I do love them), and I used to drive a truck.....and it's questionable as to whether I am a Texan as I was not born here. (I've been here for 28 out of 29 years, that counts right? ) I still love boots. There is nothing better than a comfy pair of boots to make you feel right with the world. I don't know why that is, but when I wear my boots I feel good. Montaigne has the right idea, in my boots I feel prepared and ready to go.

I have more than one pair of boots now, for a while I only had the one pair. My trusty brown Justin boots. They look similar to this:

These aren't them exactly, but pretty close. I have worn these boots for a long time. They were my first pair of boots. I love to dance in them. The way they help me slide across the dance floor while two-stepping, lots of good memories with these boots. They have scuff marks that betray my inability to walk upstairs and they have a flat spot on both heels that proves I drag my feet, no matter how much I deny it. I've ridden horses while wearing these boots, and I've been in a fight. While I'm definitely not ready to retire my old boots, my new boots are slightly more comfortable to wear. They have more support for my feet and they are certainly more cool looking. I feel kind of bad b/c I've been wearing them more than my old trusty boots. My new boots look like this:
They are pretty awesome, I get comments on them everywhere I go. Who wouldn't like that? I feel like I'm making a statement with my boots!
If you don't have a pair of boots, go find you a pair. You won't regret it. I promise. Once you put on your pair of boots you'll be hooked.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pawn Stars and Paintings

I was watching Pawn Stars on my DVR the other day and this lady brought in a collection of prints (lithographs) by Salvador Dali, the collection was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (Alice in Wonderland). I don’t know why but I really liked the prints, generally I find most of Dali’s work to be disconcerning. I was motivated to do some more research on them. This collection is selling from anywhere around $2,500-$12,000. I think that getting this collection is a little outside the realm of reality for me. But one can wish.

The first print here is the cover page for the book. The next print is titled Down the Rabbit Hole.

This is called the Pool of Tears. This print and the caterpillar one is a toss up between which is my favorite of the collection. The second print here is A Caucus Race and a Long Tale.
Then we have The Rabbit Sends a Little Bill and Advice from a Caterpillar. I love the colors that Dali used in the both of these.

These two are Pig and Pepper, and A Mad Tea Party

The Queen's Croquet Ground and The Mock Turtle's Story

The Lobster Quadrille, Who Stole the Tats, and Alice's Evidence.

After looking at these I feel like maybe I need to read Lewis Carroll's version of Alice in Wonderland, because all I can think of is the Disney version, which I'm sure is much more cookie cutter and less dark.

Monday, July 12, 2010


We had fajitas for dinner on Saturday. We bought some top sirloin from the butcher and marinated it for 4 hours or so.

Here's the recipe for the marinade:
1/4 C Tequila
2 or 3 T of olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 a lemon
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chili powder

I also made some Spanish rice, and guacamole
My guacamole recipe:
2-3 avocados
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
A handful cilantro, chopped

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. You can score the avocado while in the peel (is it a peel?) to make it easier to mash. I use a spoon to remove the avocado from the peel. Then I liberally sprinkle with salt (kosher), probably close to 2 tsp. Then I mash. Once the avocado is to the consistency of your preference add the chili powder, pepper (to taste), garlic and stir. Next add the lemon juice, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Spanish Rice Recipe
1 C rice
2 C water
1 T tomato bouillon
2 T butter or vegetable oil
1/2 an onion, diced

Heat the butter or oil on medium heat in a skillet, brown the rice and saute the onion. Add water and bouillon (can be found in the Mexican aisle at the store), stir. Cover with a lid an cook rice according to package directions (20 mins, at a simmer).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Time for a Public Service Announcement.......Leashes!
Please leash your dog. Even if you think you can control your dog, be responsible and use a leash. There are several differnet types of leashes to choose from, all are effective (some more than others)!

I had to call the police last night because the lady who lives across the street refuses to put her dog on a leash. She lets it outside, does not watch it and last night it attacked a lady and her dog while they were out walking. Now the owner of this dog is liable for and damages done to the attack-ee. Not only that but she is at risk of losing her pet. While I personally find it annoying that this inconsiderate woman let her dog have the run of the neighborhood and allowed it to poop everywhere, it is not the dog’s fault that she could not control it. The attackee was not hurt, but it could have been much worse if people had not been outside at the time of the attack. That being said…. Don’t just jump in the middle of a dog fight/attack, you could get hurt as well. If you feel confident enough to break up a dog fight go for it I guess, but I suggest you read this article first.

This really all boils down to responsible dog ownership. Train your dog, neuter/spay your pet, recognize if your dog has aggressive (check this out) or dominant tendencies, if your dog is not in a contained area use a leash. I don’t care if Fluffy is the most obedient dog in the world… use a leash. Always. AND last but not least recognize that your dog is not a small person. A dog is an animal, not your child they have animal instincts. It is ok to love them and feel like they are a part of your family but that does not make them human or capable of human thoughts and feelings.

Please people do you part. Let's reduce the number of dog fights/attacks by being responsible.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Letter B

Jeff and I were in the car the other day and the Beatles 'Let It Be' came on the radio. Everytime I hear that song I think 'Letter B,' from Sesame Street. I no longer know all the words to this song, all I know is letter b, letter beeeeee, letter b, letter beeeeeee.

No other letter from Sesame Street has stuck with me like the Letter B. I'm not sure if I should thank or curse Sesame Street for imprinting me like this. On one hand I clearly have a firm grasp of the Letter B, but on the other a good Beatles song has been messed up for me.

When I find I can't remember
What comes after "A" and before "C,"
My mother always whispers,
"Letter B."

She told me "B" starts
"Big" and "bird" and
"Ball" and "bat" and "battery.
" Yes, buh-buh-buh-buh-buh means Letter B.

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
She whispers "Buh-buh-buh means Letter B."

And when I feel downhearted,
Mother whispers
"B" words constantly,
Like "bib," "Bob," "Bulb," and "bubble,"
Letter B.

Now in my hour of darkness
There's a sound I know will comfort me,
It's the buh-buh-buh-buh-buh of
Letter B.

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
My mother whispers "B" words, Letter B.
Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
My mother whispers "B" words,
Letter B.

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
Bless the "buh-buh" sound of
Letter B.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hyder Alaska

My parent's left for Hyder, Alaska today. They are on Dad's BMW RT-1100, I'm sure it's loaded to the gills... well as loaded as a motorcycle can get.

If you'd like to follow their progress check out their spot tracker. You can also check out their progress on Dad's blog 5th_gear. He'll be posting photos and stories from the road.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I learned two things today

So on Wednesday night's from 6:30-10:00 I have class. I learned 2 things in class today, none of which had anything to do with the actual lesson. 1. I have pretty feet and 2. I am an absolute bad ass when it comes to making salsa.
I can make both of these claims because 1. someone else told me I have pretty feet, no I do not sit around telling myself I have pretty feet. That would just be weird. And 2. Jorge (from Monterrey), a man who is quite used to authentic mexican food verified that I am indeed a bad ass salsa maker. SO there you have it. I have pretty feet AND I am a bad ass salsa maker. What can I say, I grew feet and taste buds like what they like. That my friends is what I call a successful day of accomplishments. And for those of you who might like to know what a recipe for bad ass salsa is.... see below.....

Bad Ass Salsa

5 roma tomatoes (roughly)
1/2 white onion, diced ( I guessed at the amount)
1 jalapeno, seeded - or not. Up to you.
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 mango, diced
handful cilantro, chopped
s&p to taste
lemon juice to taste

I let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Alas I do not have a picture of this bad ass salsa as my classmates proceeded to inhale 2 bags of chips and the whole container of salsa. This is how bad ass the salsa is. Be warned.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Cake

What is it about chocolate cake this is so great? I made a chocolate cake last night, there's just something about the moist, chocolatey, deliciousness it's almost sinful. I'm not a big chocoate eater, but chocolate cake is awesome. For me cake does not need icing. If it is a well made cake (from scratch!) it doesn't need anything besides a plate and fork..... even then those sometimes are not necessary. Don't tell my Mom, but on occasion I have been known to stand over the sink with a hunk of cake in my hand. Last night I made my chocolate cake using the recipe out of my cookbook that looks like a picnic table cloth, yep the BHG. People don't give this book enough credit. I have yet to find a chocolate cake recipe that I like better than page 155 in the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Cake
3/4 C butter, softened
3 eggs
2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 C sugar
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 C milk
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease bottoms of two 8X8X2-inch or 9X1 1/2-inch cake pans. *(I use crisco and cocoa powder) Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper. Or, grease one 13X9X2-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl *(I use my standing mixer) beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, abotu 1/4 C at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined (3-4 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla.
3. Alternately add flour mixiture and milk to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan(s). *(If you have a scale I generally fill my 9X1 1/2 pans to 1 lb and 7oz. That is including the weight of the aluminum pans. That is about 1/2 the batter, then you have nice even layers.)
4. Bake in a 350 oven for 35-40 minutes for 8-inch pans and 13X9X2 pan, 20-35 minutes for 9-inch pans, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Peel off waxed paper. Cool thoroughly on racks or place 13X9X2-inc cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost with desired frosting *(or don't if you're like me).

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's been awhile

I've made a new friend, sort of.... There is a toad who lives in one of the flower beds in my front yard. I have seen him off and on for the better part of two years. He likes to come out from hiding when I turn the sprinkles on in the late evening. He is an affable fellow, doesn't seem to mind too terribly much when I pick him up. By and large though he seems to enjoy the quiet company of just having someone about, he sits in the flower bed and after I stand there for a few minutes he hops out from his hidey hole and we just look at each other for awhile. I've come to enjoy standing on my front porch listening to the sound of the sprinklers, smelling my salvia bush and enjoying the company a litte toad. I get a sense of satisfaction looking at my yard, knowing that I did this.