Sunday, September 30, 2012

September's Five Fabulous Finds

I am a sucker for pens and pencils.  I like to have certain writing implements for certain writing tasks.  This means that I usually have a selection of such with me - gel pens for journaling (black or blue), purple pens for grading (red is too harsh), highlighters  (yellow and green), Tricondaroga pencils (that necessitate their own sharpeners because they are triangular) . . .you get the picture.  Then there are the paper clips, sticky notes, thumb drives, and all the other small stuff that floats around in my backpack unless it is properly contained.  So, I began a search for the perfect pencil case.  After browsing various websites, I finally settled on this one.  

It has two pouches and a pocket with smaller pockets inside!  At present, it is the most perfect that I have found.

DYAC stands for “Damn You Auto Correct”
The other night I had the following text message exchange with Erin.

I should have ended it with LMAO, but I didn’t.  What I did do was discover that the Internet is full of hilarious screen shots of text messages that have gone to the dark side thanks to auto correct.  After reading some of those, Erin’s message seemed tame by comparison.  I spent more time than I am willing to admit LMAO.

I have often thought it would be funny to keep a list of things with which auto correct has tried to help me.  A week or so ago I was trying to send a student an email about a composition that had an ostinato bass line.  Auto correct wanted it to be “obstinate” bass line, which may also have been accurate, but not the word I was looking.  

(FYI   As I write this, ostinato is underlined in red.)

I love cookies.  The problem is that I don’t eat them very; when I do, I hate to decide which kind I want.  Should I have one that is just OK so I won’t eat as many?  Or, should I eat a really good one so that the caloric sin is worth the guilt that accompanies it?  Still there is difficulty.  Chocolate chip?  Snickerdoodles? Peanut butter?  Oatmeal?

I promised I would bake cookies to take to the knit shop the other day.  I thumbed through a cookbook that I had not looked at for some time and came across the perfect recipe, one that I used to make fairly frequently.  It is from the cookbook, Seasons of Santa Fe.  The cookies are Linda’s Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.  What makes them outrageous?”  They contain chocolate chips, peanut butter and oatmeal.  What could be better?  And they are healthy too because they contain whole wheat flour:-)

Sorry, I have no picture; they didn’t last long enough.  The best I can do is the recipe.


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter (room temperature)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the white and brown sugars, butter, peanut butter, vanilla and milk. Add the eggs and mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, oats, baking soda and chocolate chips. Slowly add to the egg mixture combining well. Chill the dough covered overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake on the center rack for 12 minutes.

Eat and don’t feel guilty!!

There are lots of other tasty recipes in this cookbook, but it was worth the price just for these cookies!

Power Washer
You may remember a few posts ago where I chronicled the clogged kitchen sink, the holes in the kitchen floor, the corroded cast iron pipe, and the mounds of dirt in the middle of the kitchen floor.  If not, you can read about it here.

During that time, the house was filthy because of all the jack hammering and digging.  Trying to stay on top of the dust and dirt with the broom and vacuum cleaner was a futile effort.  So what did we do?  We power washed the patio.  I know, this probably sounds futile too, especially since we have the dog who mistakes concrete for grass.  That aside, power washing the patio brought immediate gratification.  We watched as the force of the water pounded away years of dirt.  It was amazing.  So, let me introduce you to my new best friend.

This is Paul’s power washer.  Hopefully Santa will bring us one of our own!

Sometimes you just need to play.  And, there is about no better way to do that than by blowing bubbles.  At the beginning of the school year, the teachers at Weber’s school drew names for a back to school secret pal.  They were supposed to give each other something that would start the year off on a happy note.  We got diet coke (per request) and bubbles for his secret pal.  When the secret pals were revealed, his pal stopped and told him what great fun she was having with her bubbles.

We usual have a bottle of bubbles at the house.  Every now and then we remember to play with them.

Several years ago, I wrote a more serious post about bubbles.  However, I recommend just having fun with them!