Category Archives: Uncategorized

A little bit more about well… me


This little blogger turtle is writing again.  This time to, rather belatedly  [I have many good qualities.  Punctuality is not one of them], share the second award I was kindly given by Not Supermom— the Tell Me About Yourself Award.  Thank you, doll!

So, The Tell Me About Yourself Award requires the recipient to:

  • Thank the person who gave the award.
  • List 7 things that people may not know about you.
  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and notify them. (Um… maybe not 15, ok?  How about seven. Seven sounds like a good number.)
  • Post the badge on your blog.

It’s all rather flattering, really.

Seven things ya’ll may not know.  Hmmm…


1. I really like doing old-fashioned, crafty things, like crochet and baking, sewing and gardening.  I get creative and experimental with them, making stuff for people I love.  At these times, my fella hums ‘The Little House on the Prairie’ theme song at me teasingly.  However, I do tend to do these things in spurts, though, and then get wrapped up in work and leave the hobbies for months at a time.  Hence, why the garden occasionally resembles the wild jungle of Borneo.

2. When I was a kid, I used to ride my bicycle over to the Helen B. Hoffman Library [an absolutely brilliant little town library], pack a picnic lunch, and spend the whole of Saturday afternoon there.  I’d check out stacks of books so tall that when I held them I couldn’t see over, pile them into my backpack, and then spend the rest of the week reading until the wee hours of the night.

3. I have an exorbitantly large family, with first cousins numbering more than two dozen (especially since we’re all older now and many are married with kids of their own).   Don’t get to see them very often because we’re spread out all over the US, but it’s nice trying to keep up with scads of cousins.

4. Speaking of numbers, I realized recently that since I’ve taught 9 years this January, and I’ve averaged 140 students a year, that means I’ve been a part (albeit a small one) in the lives of at least 1,260 students!

5.  I’ve recently become a fan of BBC radio show ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.’  It’s been running pretty much forever, but I only recently discovered this bit of audio foolishness via my friends from England (Alan) and Australia (Jeffers).  Thanks, chaps!

6.  Twirling on a tile floor in socks is still brilliant fun, even now that I’m supposed to be a proper grown-up.

7.  My fella Dave is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Completely.  Let me ‘splain.  No, it’s too much.  Let’s let Amy sum up, shall we?  “You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, when you meet them you think, “Not bad. They’re okay.” And then you get to know them and… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality’s written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful.”  My Dave’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.

And now for the bloggers…. forgive the repetition, dears, but they are wonderful folks…
1. My sister, over at Life of a Tally Mom

2. Katie, over at Scandalous Kate Strikes Again

3.   The Vores, over at What We Blog About When We Blog About Love

4.  Doctor Thomas, who moderates our The Ark in Space blog

5. Ginger Doodles, over at (where else?) Ginger Doodles

6. Anita Marie, over at Irregular Bones

7. Jeff, over at Jeffrey Scott

Rather wonderful, in every way


So, um, my dear friend Michelle, who swooshes her cape over at Adventures of Not Supermom [Go and read her. She is brilliant!], has done the sweetest thing for my Dave and I. I blush just thinking of it.

Here’s the direct link to our Chip-In.  And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

Dave and Eliz’s Happy Ever After



Quite to my delight and surprise, I was given blogging awards by two lovely ladies last month.  Now, compared to these funny, fantastic women, I’m a little turtle of an inconsistent blogger, so being picked is quite special.  Thank you.

As I hear that the beginning is a very good place to start, Ginger LaRue over at Ginger Doodles honored me with the Liebster Award.  She’s a firecracker, is our Ginger, with sweet caramel at her heart.  Right now, she’s blogging her way through December with beautiful music.  I’m proud to call her my friend.  How to describe Ginger?… Well, let’s put it this way, if this were the 1940’s, any pilot, including Lord Flashheart!, would be proud to name his plane after her.

She thinks I’m a Disney character come to life, bless her.  I may dance about the house barefoot and gather flowers from the garden, but Disney princess?  I mean,  teach the woodland creatures to waltz just that one time…

So, the  Liebster Award (German for Friend, doncha know) highlights up-and-coming blogs, those with less than 200 followers. I don’t know about the less than 200 of some on my list, but as that’s math, I’m just going to ignore it anyway.

The Rules:

Upon receiving the Liebster Award, you must do the following:
1.  Show your thanks to the blogger(s) who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.
5. And best of all – have fun!

My 5 Bloggers of Brilliance are:

1.  Because she kicks it up to levels unknown to blogger-kind! Seriously.

2. Because she is my sister and I love her.  Also she is a frugal-living genius and a great mom.

3. Because he’s a fantastic up-and-coming writer who shares his novels as free weekly podcasts; I had the chance to interview him about his first novel for the podcast

4. Because she is Scandalous!  and she makes people snort beverages. On purpose.

5. Because she’s brilliant, she’s back to writing, and her cats do not obey the laws of this universe

Also, a very special mention to where the rather wonderful Doctor Thomas posts the Special Features to our podcast.  Check it out– it’s great fun!

Passing on the love.


Addendum: Yon Ginger above sent me a pretty awesome Christmas present!  Her delicious snickerdoodles and a mug from The Bloggess!

cookies and a sassy mug


oh dear


So, as it turns out, I was absolutely rubbish at blogging on vacation– far too wrapped up in just enjoying the experiences moment by moment, wandering around London in absolute awe or curling up on the couch with an blanket and a Target novel on a chilly afternoon or wandering down the boardwalk in Brighton, hand in hand with my fella.

I do still want to share some of my marvelous experiences, though, so I’ll write them up a few at a time– with some pictures that Dave took (as my camera battery died almost immediately upon arrival and my adaptor went caput. Ah well, he’s a better photographer than I am anyway.) 

 So, stay tuned, folks.   




Hi, folks–

I’m completely chagrined to see that it’s been since April– (April!!)– since I posted anything here.  Summer’s nearly over, and I miss blogging, but as the podcast has just taken off in an amazing way, along with other very nice things as well, so this has kind of slipped through my fingers. 

I’m updating my book lists here today, and I’m going to try to post up at least one thing a week for awhile, to get back into practice.  It should help a bit that we’ve started doing a book discussion group called Ark Between the Covers as a tangent with the podcast [check out the Facebook group HERE].  We’re beginning with Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in honor of its anniversary.  I’ve never read it (I know?! right?), so this should be interesting.

I’m also in the middle of reading  Birthmarks by Sarah Dunant (a good Brit detective story recommended and lent to me by a friend), Tangerine by Edward Bloor (previewing, as it’s the novel we’ll read as part of our new curriculum this year), and Blue Box Boy by Matthew Waterhouse (an autographed copy! a kind gift, and a really good read, especially for any classic Who fans).

While I get myself sorted out and organized over here, go and cheer on Lulumankiller at Life Under A Rock, as she does a really cool Read-a-Thon this weekend.  We loves her!

Welcome– please browse our fine selection


Welcome, visitor–

I’m pleased you are here.  If my blog stat charts are to be believed, you are probably here because you googled, looking for rollercoaster pictures. (80 hits on just that pic, yesterday!)  I posted one randomly several months ago.  Enjoy.

While you’re here, though, please stay and read some of my book or tv reviews, one of my rants, or just drop me a comment to say hi. 


Ok, one more for you all, since you’ve been ever so nice to visit me:

a new project for a new year


I’ve been dropping hints over the past few months about my new year’s project, and now I’m ready to let ya’ll into the secret…


I’m going to be co-hosting a podcast with Professor Dave (a regular contributer to “The Flashing Blade” podcast).  We hope to have our first episode out somewhere in the middle of Feburary the first of March, and I’ve very excited!

Our premise is that the Mayans were right: our world is going to end, and so we have to prepare an Ark to carry all of elements, people, and places of our society that we need to save.  We want to show what’s best about humanity, as well as what shows us as we really are.  It’ll be a bit like that old “desert island” game.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to strike a nice balance between the silly and the serious.

So, who wants to play?  Dave and I want listener feedback to become a vital part of the podcast.  If you’ve got something that has to be saved in the Ark (music, movies, television, pop culture, people, places, anything really) tell us what you would save and why.  We’ll use as many as we can in our discussions.

Come and join us on our Facebook group or leave a comment below.

Thanks to all of you in advance!

Holiday Treats– recipes for chocoholics


Hi.  I know I’ve gone without writing an entry for months now.  Work has taken over my life and then some, leaving me with little leisure time for playing about with my blog.  But, with the holidays dancing merrily before us (thank, GOD!), I wanted to share a few of my recipes with you.  I’m a bit famous (infamous?) for concocting my own cookie recipes.  These are some of my best– and are especially for the chocoholics among us. 

Note: I do list specific brand names because those are what I used.  The companies are not compensating me in any way.

Now, onto the real job–Getting your Chocolate Fix!

No-Bake Church Windowsthis is a recipe from my Mom.  It’s a huge family favorite, and we make it every year at Chrismas time.  The hardest part is finding tiny colored marshmallows in the store.

1 bag of chocolate chips                    

1 bag of coconut flakes

1 stick margarine/ butter                    

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 bag of colored mini-marshmallows             

wax paper   

shallow pan

Melt together chocolate & margarine.  Stir in marshmallows and nuts.  Mix well.  Divide into two groups.  Make logs by rolling each bunch in waxed paper.  Roll off of paper and into a shallow pan with coconut in the bottom.  Coat log in coconut.  Then return it to the wax paper & wrap tightly.   Repeat with the other log.   Refrigerate logs for at least 2 ½ hours.  Slice into ½ inch rounds.  Serve.

Chocolate-raspberry treatsthis recipe is of my own concoction.  It’s divine and indulgent.

2 ¼ cups flour            

1 tsp baking soda                   

1 tsp salt         

1 cup softened butter

¾ cup granulated sugar          

¾ cup brown sugar                 

1 tsp vanilla    

½ tsp water

2 eggs                         

10 oz raspberry chocolate chips         

1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder

1 ½ squares of unsweetened chocolate

Preheat oven to 375.  Melt chocolate squares.  Cream butter, sugars, vanilla, water, and melted chocolate together.  Add eggs.  Mix flour, baking soda, and salt into wet batter until completely combined.  Stir in chips.  Drop by well-rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes (may need a bit more time) or until crusty on outside and just soft in the middle.

Incredible brownie delight– just ridiculously chocolatey.

1 box Ghiradelli brownie mix  (made according to box directions)

1 box cook & serve chocolate pudding mix

2 cups heavy cream (chilled)

Deep dish pie pan

Set oven according to brownie mix directions (375 degrees).  Mix brownies & pour into pie pan. Mix pudding powder & cream in same bowl used for brownie mix.  Pour pudding mixture over brownie mixture.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes.  Take pan straight from oven to cool in fridge for at least 1 hour.  Cut like pie and serve (with whipped cream or ice cream).  Store refrigerated.

 Chocolate Tiramisu, the easy way— I started out with a recipe from Food for this one, and then completely modified it for my own purposes.

10 ounces Lindt Swiss Bittersweet Fine Dark Chocolate (2 ½ 3.5 ounce bars) & 2 ounces grated into shavings

2 cups heavy whipping cream

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)

6 cups very strong coffee, cooled

2 cups Kahlua (or Kahlua with Milk)

2 angel food cakes, sliced slightly more than “thinly”

Powdered sugar

Chop up chocolate.  Bring cream to a simmer in a pan over medium heat.  Quickly pour hot cream over chocolate in a large heat-resistant bowl.  Stir until chocolate is melted.  Wisk in Neufchatel cheese.  Chill overnight.

Cut cake into slices and stack.  Allow to dry for at least ½ hour.

Remove chocolate mixture from fridge & whip with mixer until fluffy and slightly stiffened, being careful not to overwhip.  Chill.

Combine coffee and Kahlua in a shallow dish or pan.  Pick up slices of cake & soak briefly in coffee (approx 10 seconds).  Place in the bottom of a baking dish.  Repeat and arrange in rows to cover the bottom.  Press cake slices down to that they cover fully.  When you have made a complete layer, spread ½ of the chocolate mixture over it.  Cover lightly with chocolate shavings.  Repeat, making 1 more layer.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 

Serve cold, dishing out spoonfuls with a large serving spoon.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Java Chip Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting— perfect for bringing to those office holiday parties

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe Yellow Cake mix

1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Triple Chocolate Fudge Chips Frosting

1 ½ cups water

1 stick margarine

3 eggs

¼ cup French Vanilla International Foods coffee creamer

¼ cup Swisse Mocha General Foods International Coffee drink mix

1/8 cup Archer Farms (at Target) Triple Chocolate Drinking Chocolate

2 tablespoons whole coffee beans—French Roast

1 square unsweetened Baker’s chocolate

Combine cake ingredients according to box directions, adding coffee mix & drinking chocolate to dry ingredients & creamer to wet ingredients.  Bake according to package directions.  Grind unsweetened chocolate with the coffee beans.  Cool cupcakes.

Ice cupcakes & sprinkle with mocha mixture.  Eat with gusto!

Anyone else out there have some great chocolate recipes?