Sunday, September 14, 2008


You won't believe it. I just finished it off and it was great! I'm sending you the recipe to this DANGEROUS cake. Why is it dangerous? You'll see when you get to the end...


1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (cake flour makes for a lighter cake than regular flour)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips (optional, but, really, why would they be optional?)

Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork. Add egg, mix thoroughly. Pour in milk, oil, and vanilla, mix well. Add chocolate chips if using, and WHY wouldn't you be, for Heaven's sake? This IS a chocolate cake!

Put mug in microwave, and cook for three minutes on HIGH. Cake will rise over top of mug--do not be alarmed! Allow cake to cool then tip onto a plate.

Why, put a scoop of ice cream on top, of course, and ENJOY! (This can serve two if you're feeling slightly virtuous.)

WHY IS THIS CALLED THE MOST "DANGEROUS" CAKE RECIPE IN THE WORLD? Because now we are all only five minutes away from chocolate cake any time of the day or night!!!

I love you all!

Monday, September 08, 2008



Oh, I hate to see it--this ebbing away of one season and the flowing in of another. It's that dratted "circle of life" thing. I told you I turned 60 last month (see it's already the NEXT MONTH!), and ever since, I've been viewing life through clearer, if not more realistic, eyes. Oh, I'm not depressed, discouraged, or defeated, mind you. If anything I'm energized and excited about God's offerings! I sometimes feel a little like that bright-eyed kid I once was, not quite tall enough to reach the kitchen counter, so standing on tiptoe to watch my mom put away the week's groceries, knowing a promised, delicious treat is coming. The older I become the more I'm reminded of God's generous, faithful, perfect love for me. Everyday, I anticipate something good coming down the pike. I'm not saying life is a box of chocolates. NO! Life is scary sometimes; it's full of ups and downs, holes and speed-bumps, disappointments, skinned knees, and bruised hearts. But it's also full of God's grace and mercy and forgiveness. That's the "something good" I'm talking about.

So why is it I cleave to summer? Probably because I didn't do all the things I had good intentions of doing. Yesterday, I took one long look at my shimmering, glimmering pool out my kitchen window. The kids and grandkids were over and my husband and grandson were playing 'Who's gonna get wet first?'. I had a kitchen full of dinner dishes to clean up, but the shrieking sounds of pool play and splashing water beckoned me--as did that lovely, flawless September sunshine. ((Next Sunday, there will be a loop-lock winter cover spread across my pool. Wasn't it just yesterday we took it off after a long, grueling winter?))

I raced to the other room for my swimsuit and jumped into it speedy quick. I'd missed opportunities for pool fun this summer because other things took precedence, like keeping a spotless kitchen, sorting the day's laundry, or even heading to my office to complete that all-important scene in my current novel.

But today I planned to enjoy it, lie in it, lavish it, let the sun drain its hot rays deep into my pores--and phooey on the sunscreen! Phooey on the waiting dishes, the mashed potatoes still sitting in their big serving bowl.

Oh, it was grand listening to Dylan squeal, "Grandma's coming!" Grand when he splashed my back, when I took to the rubber mat and sailed from one end to the other (Grandma's little boat!), grand to listen to all the banter and play and delighted shrieks. And even grander after everyone left for home and naps, and I still lay there in the stillness of an early, early autumn day, tiny breezes rippling the water, listening now to the banter of tree frogs and squirrels, of bird calls and cricket cries.

Yes, it is that "circle of life" thing that keeps our seasons coming and going, makes the wrinkles on our faces grow deeper and longer, makes our children grow into adults who become parents themselves. It's important to recognize there's little we can do to slow down time. What we can do, though, is put a temporary halt to our own rushing lifestyles, take a minute to listen to the cricket's song, the rustle of leaves, that distant dog's lonesome bark. We need to do this. It's the only way to keep our senses sharp, our souls energized, our hearts alive.

And sometimes there are other benefits to slowing down and letting go of some things. Others take notice. Yesterday when I came in after my long afternoon of lazing in the pool--guess what I found. A sparkling kitchen.

Now, that's a benefit I'll gladly accept!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door:

Dear Dogs and Cats:

1.The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

2.The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

3.I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

4.For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years --canine or feline attendance is not required.

5.The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

And, to pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it "fur"niture.
3. I like my pets better than some people.
4. To you, they are an animal. To me, they are my short, hairy, four-legged children.

And as a side note, dogs and cats are different from real kids in that they:
1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3. Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and...
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children

Until one has loved an animal, part of his soul remains unawakened.