Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just be cool.

It's that time of year again -- the time when I disappear for weeks 
at a time without so much as a witty dog post 

Things are busy in your world too, I'm sure. 

So, in the meantime, take a deep breathe and . . . 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jean pool.

I was told recently, by a much younger and chicer friend, that shiny jeans are the must-have item of the season. And here I thought it was more leopard pieces. I'm always miserably behind. 

And speaking of my miserable behind, I'm not sure drawing attention to it with shiny jeans is really my best choice. But I do think they are super cute for a holiday party or date night with the hubs.  

Much akin to my romper debacle this summer {no, I never did find a romper I felt appropriate on my frame}, I seek your honest opinion. Is this fool's errand? Or as Jody would say, would I be a mutton in lamb's clothing?

I need the sage advice of {internet strangers and} friends.  

Because if left to my own devices, I may fall prey to those bronze numbers. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zanzibar cake.

When my duo was younger we received Ella Takes the Cake as a gift from a friend. Ella, the namesake and protagonist, is a delightful little elephant who desperately wants to help her mother in the bakery she runs. Ella's mom is very busy, but of course, she cannot allow Ella to take cakes out of the hot oven or even cut a slice of cake for the customer {the knife is much too big}. Ella is crestfallen because {say it with me now} she just wants to help. In the end Ella "helps" her mother make a zanzibar cake. 

It is a charming book filled with beautiful illustrations. 

We loved Ella. 

And cake. 

So naturally, my kids wanted "Zanzibar Cake."

While many mothers would have researched until they found a suitable cake recipe from Zanzibar, I did nothing of the sort. Did I mention I had twins? And at this point they were toddlers.

My solution: lie. 

Don't get all high and mighty on me. We lie about Santa, the Easter Bunny and what mommy and daddy are doing in the room when the door is closed. Cake is the least of my worries.  

And so I lied and told my kids the yummy Pumpkin Bread I've made for years {passed down from Noni, my life-long friend Ashley's grandmother} is called Zanzibar Cake. 

No time to take pictures; we had to have a warm slice.
From that point forward all pumpkin breads suffice as Zanzibar Cake and my kids L*O*V*E it. 

This proved quite handy when I desperately needed to get out of the house for a breather {read: coffee}, because Starbucks makes the best Zanzibar Cake. Of course, you have to be a bit sly when you order it. Shouting "two slices of Zanzibar Cake and a skinny latte" is not self explanatory.  When you then whisper "pumpkin loaf", they still don't catch on and repeat the order back as "a skinny latte and two slices of PUMPKIN loaf."  Cue the cries from the back.  Thanks for that. 

At age nine we may still call it Zanzibar Cake now and again, but they know it is pumpkin bread, because of course, they love to help!

Pumpkin Bread (aka Zanzibar Cake)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cup flour 
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup raisins (optional - not in the Zanzibar version)
1/2 cup nuts (optional - not in the Zanzibar version)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice

Sift flour and other dry ingredients together. Cream sugar and oil. Beat eggs into creamed mixture. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Add flour mixture alternating with water.

Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour. 

Enjoy! It is a staple at our Thanksgiving table. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day History.

November 11, or what has come to be known as Veterans Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day - the end of World War I, which officially took place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: 
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."
In legislation passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day."

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans."

November 11th thereafter became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

via Pinterest
My father served in both WWII and the Korean War, receiving a Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat in Korea. His wounds healed, but his love of country and gratitude for those who defend our freedom never waned. His profound patriotism was contagious and is forever seared in my heart and mind.

Thank you, Daddy.

Thank you, Veterans.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shame on you, friends.

I have physically restrained myself from posting political commentary in this space. It was challenging  as I am generally quite outspoken in my beliefs. But they are just that: my beliefs. And I find that no matter how compelling one's argument, it is nearly impossible to sway most people's political posture. 

BUT, {you knew that was coming, right?!} after living through this election night I am deeply saddened by my friends. I am sad so many I hold in great regard do not hold the President of the United States in much regard at all. I am ashamed that friends find the notion of four more years something that would cause them to uproot their families and flee from America. 

Or is that just Facebook fodder?! 

Because, friends, you all have it pretty good. You were watching election results in your warm homes. Most of you already dropped your children at an exemplary school this morning. You are blessed. The system is working for you and m-i-l-l-i-o-n-s of mothers around the world would trade places with you in a heartbeat.  

The sky is not in fact falling. 

The world is not ending. 

And as for you and yours, you'll be just fine. Yes, you may pay more taxes and I understand how unnerving that is for many. I do.

But here's the thing: the President of the United States of America deserves respect. 

Any President. 

And while you can and should be able to express your disappointment in election results, I suggest you refrain from indoctrinating your children in the overly dramatic, nearly Trump-ish, tirade of insults and predictions of doom. 

Because, remember, you want for nothing.   

I told my children last night before they went to bed {when the election was still too close to call}, that win or lose we do so with grace and dignity. We will not insult the President of the United States - whoever it may be. We are privileged to live in the United States, to enjoy equality, and to vote for who governs our country. 

From that perspective, it's hard to complain. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today is the day.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest
When the polls open on Election Day, every citizen over the age of 18 will be able to cast a vote. It is a right we take for granted, one that defines our nation as a democracy. But universal suffrage — letting everyone vote — did not appear overnight with the ratification of our Constitution (in fact, our Constitution does not mention the right to vote). 

Two hundred years ago, you had to be white, male, and wealthy in order to vote. Many people dedicated their lives to changing that fact. Without them, suffrage might still be the privilege of a chosen few.

Here's a brief suffrage timeline of our voting rights: 

1790 Only white male adult property-owners have the right to vote.

1810 The last religious prerequisite for voting was eliminated.

1850 Property ownership and tax requirements eliminated by 1850. Almost all adult white males could vote.

1870 The 15th Amendment is passed. It gives former slaves the right to vote and protects the voting rights of adult male citizens of any race. But still no right for women!

1920 The 19th Amendment guarantees women's suffrage. About time!

1961 The 23rd Amendment allows voters of the District of Columbia to participate in presidential elections.

1964 The 24th Amendment bans the poll tax as a requirement for voting in federal elections.

1971 The 26th amendment sets the minimum voting age at 18.

Do not take this right for granted.  Make sure to get out and VOTE!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Obligatory Halloween pics.

I'm not in much a writing mood lately as you might have noted. It ebbs and flows and truly when I'm not in the mood, you don't want to read my writing. 

You're welcome. 

But, obligatory Halloween pics are in order. They are too funny not to share. And sweet Jody asked {her son donned a similar costume}.

Without further adieu {because remember, I'm not in a writing mood}, I present Little Miss Thang and her bestie as Thing 1 and Thing 2 . . . with a twist. Little Miss Thang is Thing 2, which is important to note because . . . . ?! This is why I should not be writing at all.  Geesh. 

Pictured below is Boy Genius, Little Miss Thang and Hi-Ho. Hi-Ho will one day be Boy Genius's wife. He doesn't know this yet. Nor does she. But, in time, they will appreciate the genius behind this pairing {despite the seven year age difference}. And obviously, there is a large dowry involved because Boy Genius is such a great catch.  

Feel free to also note my rotted pumpkins. Absolutely disgusting. Or, perchance, spooky given that I otherwise failed to decorate much at all. Apparently I'm not in a decorating mood either.  

Despite my obvious apathy, I truly hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!!

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