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crazy cat island

November 28th, 2012

These pictures are pretty wild. Meow!

xo from crazy cat lady

we’ll find more next summer

November 27th, 2012

Leftover beach booty

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

love this

November 26th, 2012

From our garden… raspberries in November ;)

Fall crop

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

photo of the day

November 25th, 2012

Step into the light

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Post #2,085, Recipe Club: Babs’ Onion Gravy, Haystacks (no-bake cookies) (blogging day 23…)

November 23rd, 2012

Two thousand and eighty-five posts, that’s insane. Who writes that much? I mean, granted, I’ve been at this since… (stopping to look up dates) Valentine’s Day, 2005, which is, uh, I can’t add that high, it’s late at night.

EIGHT YEARS this coming October. I mean February. And sure, that’s a lot of (hours, days, months) years, but don’t you think 2,085 posts is a little over-the-top? Discuss amongst yourselves. Here’s another of Steve’s lovely pictures. Man, he has a good eye. Thank God. I barely know how to use the camera on my phone. My little techie students were jumping around in front of their computers. “We’re taking pictures of ourselves!” Sure you are, kids, please sit down. Turns out they really were — webcams installed on the fronts of all the computers. Yes, I’m a trained professional.

TG on MH

(Photo by Steve Rawley)


Here are the menus for the weekend, and here are two fast recipes for you. No, don’t serve them together, obviously.

Onion Gravy, from Babs (for Shepherd’s Pie, smashed potatoes, or any other dishes)

1 medium onion
2 1/2 cups broth
4 tablespoons white flour
1/2 stick butter

Carmelize onions in about 1/4 of the butter. Add flour and rest of butter, stir in, make a roux.

Whisk in broth a little at a time. Bring to boil, then simmer until thick. Done! Bon appetit!

Haystacks (No-bake cookies, from Shawnee TX at Food.com)


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1 dash salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut


In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, cocoa (I tend to go a little heavy on the cocoa) and salt.
Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.
When it has reached a rolling boil, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat and mix in vanilla, oats and coconut.
Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
Work quickly!
Let cool.
Alternate/optional additions, add any one with coconut: 1/2-3/4 cup mini marshmallows or 1/2 cup walnuts.

You know what line I love, there? Work quickly! I need the encouragement, thanks, hon. Really good recipe, but of course I can never leave well enough alone and had to sub half milk chocolate chips and half white chocolate chips for the cocoa. (I stirred them in after I took it off the heat.) Also left out the coconut because 1) we didn’t have any and 2) I thought the guys in my family didn’t like coconut. Turns out they do! So we’ll go that route next time…

Happy weekend! Hope you’re having fun, whatever you’re doing.



Post #2,084

November 22nd, 2012

I think I’ll start numbering all of them from now on.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? We do, but without turkey and extended family. It’s less stress that way.

Recipes tomorrow, gotta go, Spocky.

Here’s to gratitude.

— wm

this is my 2,083rd post.

November 21st, 2012

does that seem like a lot to you?

Tuesday Book Review: “A Child’s Calendar,” “Nighttime Ninja” and “Waking Dragons” (day 20: November blogging)

November 20th, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Talk about the opening of your favourite book.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. They left the house at half past nine… The smallest one was Madeline…” — “Madeline,” Ludwig Bemelmans

“A Child’s Calendar” is a book of poetry by John Updike, with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman (Scholastic, unpaged, all ages). I use this book when I teach, and it’s just always what the students and I need on those days. You know the ones. When nothing is running on time, when plans go askew, when we don’t know exactly what it is we need or want. I recommend getting a copy of this for your home library and paging through it when you need to.


by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Displays a certain
Loveliness —

The beauty of
The bone. Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.

Give thanks: we do
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.

“Nighttime Ninja” is a new release from Barbara DaCosta, with art by Ed Young (Little, Brown, 2012, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 3-6). Wacky Boy likes this one and says: “It doesn’t have any really big sentences, so that’s good for the younger readers. The illustrator was really creative with the collage art.” The illustrations were done in cut paper, textured cloth, string and colored pencil.

This is DaCosta’s first children’s picture book. The story is sweet and engaging. Young, who was born and raised in China, moved to America as a young adult, in order to pursue his art. Success! He has illustrated more than eighty books for kids. “The House Baba Built” is about his childhood in Shanghai. He is a Caldecott medalist (for “Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China”) and also wrote “The Emperor and the Kite.” My favorite work by Young is “Seven Blind Mice.” He has been the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award on two occasions, and has received a number of other award and honors for his work.

Jane Yolen’s latest work is “Waking Dragons,” which was illustrated by Derek Anderson (Simon & Schuster, 2012, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 4-8). Another hit with my son, who says: “It also doesn’t have any big sentences, so it’s good for the younger kids. The drawings are really good.”

I’m a fan of Yolen’s — everything she’s ever done, basically, as I’ve written here before. How many writers can you say that about? Her dinosaur series (“How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You,” “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight,” and others)? Just perfect. Her newest is just as fun as the others.

“Don’t forget
wake the dragons
before school.

the book begins, and you know you’re going to enjoy going along for the ride. Derek Anderson (who also illustrated the “Little Quack” series) did a lovely job on the paintings. They’re whimsical and won’t scare the littles.

day off today (blogging: day 19)

November 19th, 2012

Steve and I both ended up with the day off today, what da heck? I think we should climb back into bed once the kids leave for school, then send for room service later.

have a great Monday, y’all.

— wm

day 18: November blogging, and another Recipe Club

November 18th, 2012

Fly Amanita

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

My daughter and I go to church; my husband and son go to nature church. Whatever works for you. Getting excited for Thanksgiving, and Steve’s birthday is this week, too. No turkey for us; the kids requested macaroni and cheese. No, not mine. The kind from a box. It’s a holiday, they can have whatever they want. Steve and I will make Shepherd’s Pie (with root vegetables and vegetarian gravy, with spuds on top), stuffing, squash and Pumpkin Mousse with ice cream. For his birthday, his request is always Vegetarian Meatloaf and Polenta. I’ll make a Pear Crisp with ice cream for dessert.

Giving thanks… for food. Shelter. Family. Love. And our three cuddly cats.

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