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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A New Project

I have committed myself to tutoring a teen boy every day after school for the rest of the school year. Today was the first day. He brought nothing to show me where he was in math or English. No, he left those books somewhere, school or home. No, none of it was on the computer issued from the school. No, he had written nothing down anywhere, ever, EVER.

This is all for the child who was held back twice. The first time, it was the teacher's idea because he was immature. BAD IDEA! The second time had something to do with family life and moving in the middle of the year.

As it turned out, I found things on his Blackboard program that he swore were not there. Lots of shoulder-shrugging and smiles. GRRRRR He was shocked I could use Blackboard. You know us old fuddy-duddies are not quite up with technology.

Yes, I am the most patient tutor you have ever seen.

He got one of five sketches finishd for an Art project due on Friday. sigh When his mother came in, I told her what he lacked for me to help him. She assured me it would be with him tomorrow.

He knows: 2x=6

And, he sees no reason to learn to divide both sides of the equal sign by 2. Well, the one I will bring him to work tomorrow will not be so easy.

I had just bought the $54 drill when his  mother who is helping me for 30 minutes each week uncovered my drill, bits, and special extension cord. So, that money regained has been very helpful for my finances.

It will all work out! He will pass and go into 8th grade next year. Well, the goal is to get him into ninth grade where he belongs.

Your turn
Do you ever tutor or teach a skill and have to struggle with the learner?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Doing Favors and a Recipe

Cake Mix Cookies IV

Cake Mix Cookies VIII
made from a cake mix
I have a very nice neighbor around the block. He takes my garbage to the road each week and carries the recycling out when he sees it is full. One milk jug in the recycling bin is not worth hauling the container to the road, so he does not take it out every week. He hauled my 9 hibiscus trees from the basement this summer and has done various little things that are large things to me.

 He is the one who will feed my hens on occasion. He grew up with a chicken house with 10, 000 broilers, so he is accustomed to chickens. He gets my hens' eggs when he does feed them. I also regularly share eggs with him. Now that he has his nephew, his wife, and child living there temporarily, he will use eggs much faster than before.

He has a group of young people, a religious group not associated with any church, that meets at his house. Several times when they have met, I have taken cookies, sheet cake or brownies to his house beforehand. Sometimes, I just take stuff and figure he can give them away, eat them, or freeze them until they come over. I use a brownie mix that I purchase for pennies.

No more.

There are about a dozen cake mixes in my kitchen, gotten free. I don't need to eat them, don't even particularly like some of the flavors, and cannot seem to give them away. Okay, most are some flavor of I would like those to stay here. On the internet there are recipes for making cookies from cake mixes. But, I cannot stand up very long to drop cookies onto a cookie sheet. So, I decided I would see if there were recipes for making brownies from cake mixes. Well, it turns out there are simple and complicated recipes. I am going for a simple recipe.

HERE is a page of links for brownie recipes from cake mixes.  I chose this RECIPE.


Cake Mix Brownies

One Cake Mix, any flavor
1 egg
1/4 cup water


Press batter into a 9x13 pan. Cook at 350 degree for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not over bake.


As I read another page, it seems this will work for strawberry cake mix, just any flavor. Of course, add-ins like chocolate chips or raisins or nuts work, too.

Some of the recipes have fourteen ingredients and start with a cake mix. ???  Not for me!

Oh, he did make the remark after I gave them a frosted sheet cake and apologized for the horrid looking icing that they were "more cookie and brownie people" I can handle that. I think he thought the sheet cake was harder than cookies or brownies.

Your turn
Have you ever made brownies from a cake mix? If so, please tell me you did not use the recipe with 14 other ingredients.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year."

I had to memorize the first two stanzas of The Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. So, I always remember the date and story.

"One if my land, two if by sea;
and I on the opposite shore will be..." 

These two lines above are probably the most famous. The rest of the poem , published in 1861, is equally enthralling to me.

I m eternally grateful to my teachers for assignments that required me to memorize poetry and prose like the Preamble to the Constitution.

Only one egg today. The hens have been frustrated because I have had no oats for the last four days. So, last night, I purchased whole grains oats. Today, they are happy.

Your turn
Did you have to memorize portions of this poem when you were in grade school?  Mybe you are not a fan of Longfellow? What is your favorite poem he wrote? Do children memorize for school assignments?

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Dream and Eggs and Rain

Fork, Spoon and Knife | Cutlery Coloring Pages

Last night, I had a weird dream. There was something wrong with a tooth on the bottom, left part of my jaw. I thought something was wedged between my teeth. I was eating something really soft, so there was a moment of puzzlement as I got the soft food either swallowed or spat out. I examined the plastic fork I was using only to find all the tines intact. Using my tongue to feel did not reveal the problem.

I tried to pull out whatever it was keeping my mouth from closing even as it wiggled freely. This dream seemed to go on forever. Going to the bathroom mirror I saw the problem. As it turned out, my tooth had split top to bottom, leaving a wiggly splinter still in the gum and attached at the bottom. I was just horrified. This had happened to a top, right side tooth about 20 years ago.

Why did I dream this? These three reasons might explain the dream. This is the first tooth dream ever.
1) Exbf had gone to the dentist on Tuesday for a checkup.
2) A tooth had cracked in the same manner many years ago.
3) A plastic fork had broken and I did have a tine loose in my mouth.

The two hens gave me two eggs today.

It rains every day! The grass is never dry enough to mow! The grass and weeds get higher by the minute. I guess it is good for crops, but I think they can get waterlogged with too much rain.

Your turn
Do you ever dream about your teeth? tell me all about it? How are your hens laying?  Are your April showers unwelcome right now?

Food Danger

This is sort of long, but important information if you care about what is in your food and where it comes from. So, take all weekend to read it if you are busy. This information bothers me.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Mabel and her puppies
No, I am not saying "Happy Birthday" to Mabel or her "puppies."

My oldest child was born at 11:04 am this day, April 16, 1968. (I think it was 11:04 am.) I am shocked I am the mother of a person who is 47-years-old!

Hmmm, the puppies above look like the puppy I got free at a garage sale. My son named him "Puppy." Well, maybe he did not name him, but "Puppy" was just sort of the default name for her.

Your turn
Are you the parent of an adult child, and you are shocked to be the parent of a person that old?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Slip, Sliding Away

The trees are blooming, so most things around here are yellow. That means my sinuses and lungs suffer. Plus, citrus needs to disappear in my house, even the Halos, sweet little Halos.

Sunday night, as I got out of the car, I almost fell. There are several stones next to the driveway, put there about five years ago to define the space. When I ran out of stones or back, forgot which, I just ended up with stones too far apart to be useful or decorative.

There is a limb on the passenger side that might fall on the car, so I parked to the far side of the driveway where the rocks are located.

Luckily, I was still holding onto the car door as I slipped on the rock, sliding all over and hurting my knee already injured knee..

Then, last night I came from the car to the side door. At the edge of the front yard there is a step into the back yard that is defined by a concrete step. It was pitch dark, so I missed the step. I stepped too far to the front of the step and too far to the right, which landed the corner of the step right in the middle of my foot.

Slipping off was so painful to the middle of my foot, plus it plummeted me forward and to the right. I went careening into a bush wet from the recent rain. Yes, it hit my face and glasses and wet my hair and clothing. Since I was going forward, I was slightly bent like the cartoon characters fighting to walk against the wind. As I stumbled through the bush, I picked up a bit of speed, enough to make me run bent for about 12 feet before I managed to stop myself as I carried groceries and my purse.

Thankfully, I had on shoes instead of sandals. I have lived here since 1977 and have never missed that step.

That was sort of scary, but once I stopped, I started laughing aloud. The neighbors must wonder about my laughing all alone in the yard.

Yes, I know I should have light there. The plan was to paint a yellow strip along the step so I could see it going and coming. Or, I could paint a white strip. Plus, I need solar lawn lights. I have solar lawn light, just need to put the batteries into them.

As I wrote this, I was watching Two and a Half Men. There in the kitchen were a dozen or more bottle of spices in a rack on the wall. Don't they know spices should be stored out of light?

Your turn
Do you have a hazard in your yard that you finally managed to hit just right? Or one that gets you all the time?  Do you keep all your spices out of the light to preserve their effectiveness?