Monday, December 29, 2008

Manic Monday

This is a homemade demotivator that someone created just for those of us who live in the Land of Lincoln. Enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Nativity According to Kinley

Kinley has always called her brothers "Guys".

She does this because that is the way Brian and I refer to them. We say things like, "Come on guys, let's go." or "You guys need to cut that out!"

For a while there I think she thought their names were "Guys" least that is how she addressed them. Even if she was only talking to one of them she would say, "Hi, guys!"

She now calls them "Gykie" and "Kayga" when she is addressing them individually, but she still calls them "guys" when she is talking to both of them. To her "guys" is a synonym for "brothers".

Anyway...I say all that to say this....we shouldn't be surprised then when Kinley describes the characters of the Nativity like this....

Baby Cheesis (Baby Jesus)

Daddy Cheesis (Jesus' Daddy, Joseph)

Mama Cheesis (Jesus' Mama, Mary)

Guys Cheesis (Shepherds and Wisemen....Jesus' own personal "guys")

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas from the Grove Family!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

At Grandma and Grandpa's Place....

We always got together on Christmas Eve.

We did NOT open presents. Christmas Eve was a time for two things:

Singing Christmas carols around Grandma's old upright piano and listening to Grandpa read the Christmas story from the Bible.

Aunt Susan would play the piano and we would all call out the songs we wanted to sing. We would stand around sharing old church hymnals and signing every carol we could think of. As always, those of us who knew how to play were asked to do a couple of special numbers after the sing-along.

We also drank eggnog...the real stuff with raw eggs and pounds of sugar in it...and had some Christmas goodies like cookies and fudge.

The funny thing is my Grandma made awful cookies. They were always burnt. She was a wonderful cook, and almost everything I know about cooking I learned from her, but she couldn't make a decent cookie. I think it was her oven. I think the temperature just wasn't regulated properly.

She did make some really good fudge though. She had a fudge recipe that called for coffee. Not a single soul in the family (except a couple of in-laws, including my mom) drank coffee, so Grandma just brewed up some instant in a sauce pan on the stove. One year (I think it was actually on Christmas Day) we were all in the kitchen preparing the meal. In the midst of making the stuffing, apple-banana salad and mashed potatoes we were also making the fudge. My Aunt Susan (a notoriously bad cook, but a funny one) got the coffee and poured it into the fudge mixture. It wasn't long before we realized that she had actually grabbed the pan of drippings and onions and stuff that was supposed to go into the stuffing. Needless to say no one ate that fudge.

But anyway, back to Christmas Eve....At the end of the evening we would all crowd into the living room and sit down to listen to Grandpa read. He would read from Luke 2 and then skip over to Matthew to read the story of the Magi's journey. It was quiet and simple and sweet.

This year we are going to do it again. Grandpa passed away last year just before Christmas and Grandma had to move out of the house and in with my uncle. But tonight we are going to open the house up again and meet there (maybe for the last time) to carry on the old traditions.

I'd better start practicing my piano solo.

I think I'll bring the cookies.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nuptials in Narnia

Brian's cousin Rachael got married this weekend. We made the 6 hour trip to Ohio for the wedding. When we arrived we discovered that the whole area had experienced a major ice storm the night before. Luckily all of the roads were clear but everything else was covered in ice.

It was actually really beautiful and it made a fairy tale-like setting for a wedding. Cainan looked out on all of the sparkling trees and said, "It looks like Narnia!" He was right. Every inch of every tree, blade of grass, and sign post was encased in ice.

After the wedding we all went to the reception site and awaited the arrival of the bride and groom. They had plans to arrive in a horse and carriage so the bride had a white fur stole wrapped around her arms. She looked beautiful getting out of that carriage in her gown and fur, surrounded by a world of white.

When we saw her Cainan said, rather loudly, "It's the White Witch!!"

I hope she didn't hear.

Friday, December 19, 2008

F is for........

We are constantly reminding our kids to have good manners.

Ryker is often too shy or too spacey to remember to be polite but Cainan is catching on quickly to situations in which he needs to respond with "thank you", "please"or "your welcome".

Yesterday at school one of Cainan's little friends kindly gave him the graham cracker gingerbread house that he had made. Cainan was so excited to receive the gift. He immediately ran up to Brian and showed him the milk carton creation.

C: Look what Logan gave me!

B: Wow! That was nice of him.

C: Yeah, and don't even say it.

B: Say what?

C: (proudly) I already did it.

B: Did what?

C: I said the "F" word.

B: Which "F" word?

C: You know which one.

B: (with fear creeping into his voice) Ummmm....why don't you tell me which "F" word you said.

C: (exasperated) Fank You!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Goodies Galore

This week's theme for the Holiday Expo is Christmas Goodies.

Well, they came to the right place.

I love Christmas goodies....actually any kind of goodies...which is why I have to work out like a maniac....but I digress.

I already shared my new favorite holiday cheesecake recipe with you all, so I'm going to give you the recipes for three other great Christmas desserts.

By the way, have you ever seen anything but a dessert recipe on this blog Oh yeah, there was the soup made with HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM. Anyway, eat up and work out. That's my motto.

Recipe #1: Oreo Truffles

One of Brian's co-workers gave him some of these and I fell in love with them. They are super delicious and super easy.

1 pkg. Oreo cookies (or generic works too)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
almond bark

Scrape filling out of cookies. DO NOT EAT IT! Put it in a bowl with the cream cheese. Mix well.
Crush cookies. (A food processor works well, but I use a Ziploc bag and a rolling pin.) Mix cookie crumbs with cream cheese mixture.

Form into 1 inch balls. Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet and chill until firm. Melt almond bark in a double boiler. Dip Oreo balls in almond bark and place back on baking sheet to dry.

*Variation: I am going to try making these with the new Peppermint Oreos. Yummy!

Recipe #2: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Everybody (maybe not) knows that St. Louis is famous for it's Gooey Butter Cake, but this dessert combines all the rich goodness of the STL classic with a traditional pumpkin pie. Cut it in to small pieces or none of your guests will have room for any of your other desserts.

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 Tbsp. butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese
3 eggs
8 Tbsp. butter, melted
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
16 oz. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 X 9 pan. To make filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey, but not runny.

Recipe #3: Cranberry Bars

I received these treats and their recipe at a cookie exchange one time. I've made them every Christmas since. If you like cranberries I think you'll love these bars as much as I do.

2 c. whole cranberries
1 c. chopped walnuts
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. butter, melted
2 t. almond extract, divided
2 c. confectioner's sugar

Mix eggs, flour, sugar, butter, and 1 t. almond extract. Spread into a greased jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with cranberries and walnuts. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool in pan. Spread with glaze made of confectioner's sugar, 1 t. almond extract and enough water to make the desired glaze consistency.

I hope you enjoy these Christmas Goodies. If you try them come back and let me know what you think.

If you'd like to get dozens of other great recipes head over to Internet Cafe Devotions and follow the links for the Holiday Expo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Girl Genius

We are in the midst of potty training.

By "we" I mean Kinley and I. No one else seems to be too affected by it. Brian just puts her in a pull up when he is around.

Anyway, she is doing great, but she still has a few accidents. I don't mind the honest to goodness accidents but I must admit I get a little angry when I ask her if she needs to go, she says 'no', and then proceeds to go in her pants 10 seconds later.

When that happens she has to sit on the potty anyway. I make her stay there for 2 or 3 minutes as a punishment. She hates it and wants to get down after just a few seconds, but I don't budge.

Recently I put her on the potty and gave her the lecture about not getting up until I say so, etc, etc, and then I went off to get her some clean clothes. As I'm in the laundry room digging through the only basketful of clean clothes in the house I hear the electric train start running in the toy room. I shot out of there already making threats about getting back on that potty, blah, blah, blah. But as soon as I turned the corner into the toy room I stopped in mid-sentence.

My brilliant daughter had simply taken the potty with her. She was sitting on her little potty chair happily playing with the trains on the train table.

What could I do? She didn't leave the potty, after all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hard Rock Candy

In our younger days we gathered with our college friends annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for "The Cow Chip Bowl", a rousing flag football extravaganza that took place in, you guessed it, a cow pasture. The wives of the "athletes" tried out new recipes and crafts while the boys were out playing in the freezing cold and mud.

Several years, and knee and ankle surgeries, later our husbands are too old and feeble to play football anymore so we gather on New Year's Eve and play board games in to the wee hours of the morning instead. But I still remember a lot of the recipes and craft ideas I learned during those years. One of my favorites is the recipe for hard rock Christmas Candy.

It really isn't as hard as it sounds and it is a super cheap and easy gift idea for those hard to buy for people on your list. Who doesn't like candy? The only special tool you need is a candy thermometer. Do not attempt to make this candy without one.

Hard Rock Candy

1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1/2 bottle flavoring*
1 tsp. food coloring
powdered sugar

Fill the bottom of a large sheet pan at least one inch thick with powdered sugar. In a large saucepan, cook sugar, syrup and water to 300 degrees, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add flavoring and coloring. Pour hot candy into prepared pan making sure that candy touches sugar only and not the bottom or sides of the pan.

At this point you have two options. You can let the candy cool completely and then use a clean hammer to bust it in to bite sized pieces OR you can let it cool until it is barely cool enough to touch but still pliable, and use a pair of kitchen shears to cut it into bite sized pieces. I prefer the second method because you can better the control the size of the pieces and the edges aren't quite as sharp.

You will now have some beautiful hard candy pieces coated in a very thin layer of powdered sugar. Yum Yum!

*The flavoring I use is called a 'highly concentrated flavoring oil' made by Lorann Oils . Each bottle is 1 fluid dram or .125 fluid ounces. Half of a bottle is just the right amount for this recipe. You can find them at Wal-Mart, but only around Christmas time. Some pharmacies also carry them (don't ask me why). I'm sure you could order them online also.

For more great recipes and tips head over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Lana's and Lisa's. They are having a great giveaway today ONLY, so don't miss it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

365 Days

Well, I've officially lived on this planet for one whole year without my Grandpa.

I still miss him every day.

I still have fond memories every day.

I'm still glad he never spent a day in the hospital or nursing home.

I still wish he was here.

I still miss him every day.

Manic Monday

Our Governor's motto:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Cookies

This week's Holiday Expo theme at Internet Cafe Devotions is the "home tour". Well, there isn't much to see in my home. I usually don't decorate for Christmas until after my annual Christmas production at church....and that just happens to be this weekend. house is pretty blah still.

However, I did host a little holiday party last weekend so I felt like I had to have a few decorations up. It was a cooking party (we made our own hard candy) so I just focused on decorating the kitchen.

The ornaments I hang in my kitchen are some of my favorites anyway. They are the faux gingerbread cookie ornaments made of colossal amounts of cinnamon and a little wood glue. They are special to me for three reasons.

#1 My sister Jill made them for me. She was on her own for the first time ever after graduating from college. She had her first job at a private school that paid next to nothing and she was living with my parents, but she was determined to go out on her own for Christmas gifts for everyone. She was on a tight budget so she made a lot of gifts. I don't know how long she slaved over these in my mom's kitchen but it must have been a while because she made me 12 ornaments and a garland out of 18 more. I know she made several more sets of these that she gave to other people too. So I appreciate the hard work she put in to the gift.

#2 She made the ornaments using my mom's cookie cutters. So each ornament is shaped just like all of the sugar cookies we made growing up. They remind me of how the angel's neck was always too thin so her head would break off and how the little tips on the holly leaf would always burn and get crispy. Just looking at the ornaments reminds me of the cookies of my youth.

#3 I always laugh the first time I pull them out of the box each year because I remember the story of the day they were made. My Dad, who inherited a sweet tooth from my Grandpa, was outside working as usual while Jill made the cookies. On one of his trips in to the house he smelled the delicious aroma of cinnamon and decided no one would mind if he had just one cookie. Yep, he took one all right, but he didn't eat much of it. After one mouthful of wood glue he had had enough of these particular cinnamon cookies.

To see some pics and videos of homes that are actually decorated head over to the Cafe and follow the links.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

And the Winner Is......

Hands down, the winner of the worst Christmas present ever is Janelle from At Home with My Monkeys.

She wrote:'s a REALLY bad Christmas gift!!! After the birth of my first child, my mother decided to give me a LOVELY Christmas gift - a gift certificate to the local hemmorhoid treatment center!!! Can you even imagine opening that in front of the family??

Now don't you think she deserves to win??

Honorable mention, and my sympathies, (but sadly no prizes) go to:

Estermay who received a 2007 calendar on Dec. 25th, 2007,

Betsy who received a package of light bulbs from her brother-in-law,

and finally to

Amydeanne who received a big ol' block of swiss cheese.

Thanks for playing everyone and Merry Christmas!!

One Bethlehem Night

Well, its production week here so you know what that blogging.

I'm spending 12 hours a day at the church getting the set ready and rehearsing for our Christmas musical, "One Bethlehem Night"....while potty training and entertaining a two year old. Its a joy, as you can imagine.

I'll still post the "Tour of Homes" for my entry in the Internet Cafe Devotions Holiday Expo tomorrow but that will be about all for me this week.

See you next week when my calendar is amazingly blank!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Manic Monday

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Deep Theological Question

Ok, here's the deal.

I work out. Very strenuously.

In the afternoons.

Therefore, I do not shower until the evening.

It's winter, we're in a garage, I don't sweat that much.

What I'm trying to say is....I don't smell.

Anyway, I have to run errands, etc. in the morning while Kinley is awake and happy.

My hair looks horrible from the working out and then sleeping on wet hair.

I would like to wear a hat so as not to frighten young children I might see coming in and out of shops.

But can I wear one in the post office?

What about the library?

The church?

These are place I often go in varying degrees of dishevelment (if that's a word).

Is it inappropriate for me to where a hat inside those places?

What do you think?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bring on the Prizes!!

The next installment in our Holiday Expo sponsored by Internet Cafe is a giveaway.

I am *gasp* re-gifting. It isn't because I don't like these ultra comfy and warm, not to mention stylish and Christmasy slipper socks, that I want to give them away. It's just that I don't need another pair.

Don't worry they've never been worn and still have the tags attached. Won't your feet look all festive on Christmas morning if you win these?

So leave me a comment telling me the WORST Christmas gift you ever received. The person with the worst gift (as judged by a panel of my non-blogging friends) will win the slipper socks. Deadline for comments is Tuesday December 9th.

Sounds easy, right? Of course it is.

Here is my worst Christmas gift ever as an example.

My husband values quantity over quality and likes to boast that he gets me 3 or 4 times as many gifts as I get him. Which I guess is technically true, but I like to think that mine are a little more valuable and well thought out.

Anyway, one year in an attempt to put as many items in my stocking as possible (with the help of Santa, of course) he decided to get me a personal mosquito repeller. This is a small black, battery operated device about the size of a tube of chapstick. You clip it onto your clothes and it emits a high frequency sound that humans can't hear but apparently drives bugs....well buggy. Needless to say I never tried it.

So there you have it. Top mine. I know you can do it.
Now head on over to the Cafe and sign up for a bunch more great giveaways. I know I will.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The Holiday Expo giveaway starts at midnight!!!

Be prepared.

The Rarotongans (1-20)

West. Monte went west. I guess he had to find out what happened to Glendon, but I really wanted him to go home to Susannah and Redstart. I think he was showing his new braver, more adventurous self by starting out for parts unknown all by his lonesome. And I was thrilled that he found Glendon relatively easily.

Poor Glendon. I understand Blue’s position completely but I do feel sorry for the guy. I think he’s kind of soft hearted for an outlaw. Blue doesn’t have to forgive him, but stringing him along so that he can work her orchard for her? That’s a little cold-hearted.

I do like Claudio, of course, and I enjoyed the interaction between Monte and Claudio. In the end I thought it was totally fitting that Monte should move his family to the orchard and work there alongside Blue. It just seemed fitting. They had nothing waiting for them back in Minnesota and there is still a beautiful river to live beside in California.

Monte becoming a boat builder (is there a technical term for that, like ‘barketer’ or something?) seems fitting also. He always admired boats and owned one. He loved his time on the boat with Glendon and later helping him make them. Of course the side benefit being that not worrying about writing allowed a story to come to him…his own story or adventure.

If I have to admit it, Glendon willingly going away with Siringo is probably fitting too. He accomplished his purpose (apologizing to Blue) and no longer had to fear being locked up. He could pay for his crimes with a clear conscience. I guess that is all he really wanted. I have the feeling that Siringo dumped him at the nearest sheriff’s office and then drove out in to the dessert and dropped dead. I think he was only living long enough to see Glendon in custody. He’s walking up to those black gates by now, I’d bet.

So why is the book entitled “So Brave, Young and Handsome”? Is it all in reference to Hood Roberts? He seems to be too minor a character to warrant a title. Although when you look at the book as written by Monte about his adventure you have to remember that Hood meant a lot to Monte and weighed heavily on his mind. Maybe Monte sees the whole trip as he and Glendon both reaching their destinations but Hood, the brave, young and handsome one, coming to a tragic end. I don’t know.

Maybe he is referring to the deeds of the brave, young and handsome. Glendon, Siringo, Hood, and even Ern all had crazy and exciting lives (when they were brave, young and handsome) that ultimately led to sorrow. Maybe this is the chronicle of what happens to the brave, young and handsome ones later on. Monte of course was young once but I don’t think he was either brave or handsome…at least not until he reached California and started building boats. Then he had developed a spine and some character. Maybe he should be glad it came to him later in life when he was capable of making good decisions…unlike the others in the story. What do you think?

Overall, I loved the book; maybe not as much as “Peace Like a River” but it was close. I’d gladly read anything else Enger writes. Now I’m moving on to something else from my list and I’m starting a real life, in person book club too. I hope to see some of you there.

Handy Tip of the Week

If you're like me you run out of tape (and all other adhesives) pretty often. With holiday wrapping season coming up we can't afford to be left high and dry. But I've found an amazing substitute.

Soggy Fruity Pebbles Cereal!

Yesirree. These colorful little devils go on easily and harden like concrete in minutes. I've tested their sticking power on terry cloth, tile grout and toddler hair. It takes some real elbow grease to get them loose. They'll adhere denim to wooden chair seats and have no problem sticking to the rubbery sole of a shoe....that is at least until they come in contact with the surface they are most attracted to....carpet fibers.

For the low, low price of just $4 a box you can have an almost endless supply of emergency adhesive, in a rainbow of beautiful colors, that will keep you wrapping (or cleaning) until the wee hours on Christmas Eve. Go out and buy a box TODAY!!!

That's what's (NOT!) working for me this week. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips go to Rocks In My Dryer.


To those of you who followed this link in the hopes of seeing a real tip, I apologize. But I'll make it up to you with a giveaway. How's that?

Tomorrow join me right here at for a Holiday Giveaway Carnival hosted by the girls at Internet Cafe Devotions. There'll be plenty of great giveaways to enter and lots of wonderful prizes. I can't reveal what mine is until tomorrow so be sure to come back and see.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fiery Siringo (1-20)

Well! All I can say is that Glendon should have been a little less cryptic when he told Monte to “stay out of Siringo’s grip”. We should have known the old geezer wasn’t as feeble as he pretended. And yet, even with a bitten hand and a broken finger why wouldn’t Monte just leave him along the side of the road? I knew that over-active sense of duty would come back to bite Monte in the end. If only he could be as cold-hearted as Siringo he could be back home with Susannah by now. But would Susannah want him in that condition or would she cease to see him as Siringo’s wife had?

So now Monte is traveling with Siringo, aiding him in his hot pursuit of Glendon or Hood Roberts or both. Who saw that coming? Certainly not me. I do admire his half-hearted attempts at escape and his refusal to stoop to the tactics of his captor. Unfortunately, Siringo can read Monte like a book. Even when the poor guy manages to convince the bank teller that despite his manacles he is not a fugitive but a kidnapping victim, Siringo is one step ahead of him already signing books and spinning tales with the local law enforcement. At that moment I thought Monte might cry. I felt so sorry for him.

More than dislocating his finger, or biting his hand, or popping his finger back in to place, or breaking his collar bone I think Siringo caused Monte more pain by telling him about his visit to the Davies’ and Emma’s subsequent disappointment in Monte and hurling of his book. I think that crushed Monte’s spirits more than anything else.

Enger seems to be examining the themes of life and death, heaven and hell again. He describes Ern Swilling’s death as his “turn at the infinite”. Then in this section Monte wonders if Siringo…

“…had died already, during the night, and was up anyway, making coffee in the normal fashion, and that I would be compelled for some time to be the companion of a dead fellow who refused to acknowledge his condition.”

Siringo acknowledges the fact himself when he says,

“I was human but now I think I am changing. It’s a change for the better. I can sleep or not as I will. I feel no anger. I am not thirsty. Hot and cold have no purchase on me.”

I agree with Monte that Siringo is describing death. His own death. At least the death of his soul if not his person. I think we’ll see him dead before the end of the novel. At least I hope so…and hopefully before he kills Hood and/or Glendon. Somehow I’m not afraid for Monte. I think he’ll make it home to his wife and son again. Despite his many faults, Siringo won’t harm the innocent. Of course, that’s assuming Monte stays innocent.

I guess I’m glad that Monte didn’t shoot Siringo when he had the chance. At least he was brave enough to fire the gun and give Hood a fair warning. Why am I rooting for the bad guys here? Even though Hood didn’t murder Swilling he still stole a car and food and a horse and a mule. He even burnt down an entire town and killed a man in the process. I have no idea what crime, if any, he was running from in the beginning when he joined up with Monte and Glendon, but I’m almost positive there was one. He is a “bad guy”, and yet I want him to escape cleanly to Mexico with his pretty girlfriend. Well, that is if he didn’t kill Ericcson. If he murdered Ericcson in cold blood than I’m afraid I can’t be on his side anymore.

I still want Glendon to escape though. Maybe it’s because he seems genuinely remorseful for his life of crime. He doesn’t claim that he would do things any differently given the chance, but at least he seems sorry that it turned out this way. He wants to make amends with Blue. He wants to help out Darlys again. (By the way I think it is hilarious that Glendon uses Siringo’s money to pay for Darlys’ trip.) He even wants to go after Hood and prevent him from make some of the same tragic choices that Glendon himself made in younger days. He is a caring and gentle outlaw, that’s for sure.

How nice it would have been if this sentence were true.

“And so it came down to a farmhouse. As it so often does!”

But, it didn’t come down to a farmhouse, after all. Hood escaped…again! I couldn’t have been happier. I like it anytime something happens that Siringo isn’t planning on and doesn’t like. But, of course it couldn’t last. It was so sad and anti-climatic that Hood just walked in to the street and right in to the face of Charles Siringo. Siringo shot him and he died. It was awful. I think the dramatic farmhouse show down would have been better; more appropriate for a romantic boy like Hood.

“Death arrived easy as a train; Hood just climbed aboard, like the capable traveler he was.”

Blanks. Blanks. Of course, it had to be blanks, but I wanted to believe that Siringo was bullet-proof, rather than face the knowledge that Hood had stood no chance from the beginning. How ludicrous that he would go back in to town for a pastry! A cinnamon doughnut? You’ve got to be kidding me. To think that he got killed for a doughnut. What a sad ending for him.

At least Siringo suffers a little bit from his encounter with Hood. He has a stroke, apparently. That's fitting, but I'm sure it won't kill him. At least Monte finally decides to leave him behind. But is he going home or on to find Glendon? East or West? Somehow I don't think he can go home at this point. I'm not sure I would either...knowing Glendon isn't the letter writing type.

I'm anxious to finish the last section "The Rarotongans". What in the world, or who in the world, is a rarotongan? I have no idea, but I'm eager to find out. I'll post my final thoughts on the book tomorrow.

Until then I leave you with me new favorite phrase that I picked up from good old Charlie.

“I think I’ll pass on that bag of snakes.”

Spinach Artichoke Hot Dip

Well, it's Kitchen Tip Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday so of course I have another recipe to share with you all.

This is a great appetizer. I took it to our Thanksgiving gathering and it was gobbled up in minutes. Serve it hot right out of the oven with crackers and you've got a hit.

Spinach Artichoke Hot Dip

1 bag spinach leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 jar artichoke hearts
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated paremsan cheese
minced garlic (to taste, I used 2 cloves)
cayenne pepper

Cook entire bag of spinach and minced garlic in a hot skillet with olive oil. Spinach will reduce to just a small pile of goo (that's the technical term). Set aside. Can be made several hours or a day ahead.

Dice artichoke hearts and mix with remaining ingredients. Add spinach goo. Mix well.

Bake at 375 for 10 -15 minutes or until edges are crispy but center is still soft.

Yum! Yum!

For more great recipes and tips check out Tammy's Recipes and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Hey, just a head's up.

There is going to be a give away going on here on Thursday December 4th.

Don't miss it!

Manic Monday

In case you can't read the small print, it says,

"Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different becasue I do something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction."