A little background- "It is wonderful combination of a light cocoa flavored marshmallow center drenched with a dark chocolate coating and then sprinkled with coconut (Sorry, no potato!). The potato shape and unique blend of ingredients appeals to both young and old, making the "Idaho Spud" one of the top hundred selling candy bars in the Northwest, and is Idaho Candy Company's best selling bar. The Idaho Spud Bar has been a favorite since it was first manufactured in 1918." (from Idaho Candy Company).
This is a very easy recipe. After preparing it today, I would certainly serve it again.
Idaho Spud Fondue
4 Idaho Spud candy bars
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons Kirsch,cognac,or Cointreau, if desired
Combine candy and milk in a microwave-safe container. Microwave until melted. Stir in liqueur,if desired. Stir until creamy. Pour into fondue pot suspended over heating element. Dip sliced fruits or pieces of angel food cake into the mixture. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. My mom baked an angel food cake ( her favorite) to dip in the fondue and it was a perfect combination. Enjoy!
More info on www.idahospud.com.
Then the rain came down to soak us,
This is a view of Barnaby Island looking south along Lake Roosevelt. We were intrigued with the cloud formation in the afternoon sky. This is another view of the lake from above as we headed up a country road southwest toward Lake Ellen.
When we arrived at Lake Ellen we viewed a contrast of green and white. Because of the altitude and location of this lake, it is still covered with a white layer of ice.
Soon this rock formation will become an island for swimmers and boaters to rest on while enjoying Lake Ellen. I was still amazed today that it was covered with ice. This lake has a small campground at each end and a boat launch. I hear it has good fishing, but I am not a fisherwoman so I wouldn't know. Moving west on the lake road we came up to a aspen grove. In early spring with the stark,white trunks still exposed, these trees take on a unique beauty. In a few weeks this whole landscape will change with green leaves budding out and wildflowers beginning to show their colors.Just a half mile from the lake the beaver pond is thawed and the house the beavers constructed has held up over the winter months.
Our last stop was a clearing that is safe for the dogs to explore. They ran, taking in the new smells of spring. We were disappointed we couldn't hike down to Barnaby Creek. It was also still surrounded by snow. The dogs love this spot and always perk up as we drive near. I guess it is a certain pine, moss, creek smell they always remember. It was time to go home. The dogs were tuckered out from their run and I was anxious to see the new slide show of pictures. We are blessed to live in an area where we can do a ten mile road trip and see this much spectacular beauty. I will share other ten mile trips around Lake Roosevelt throughout the seasons.
9. The dust bunnies started having babies under the bed.
8. When the ceiling fan was going it caused a freak mini-tornado.
7. We wanted to see the scores on the T.V. screen during the Oregon game. ( Go Ducks!)
6. Spring came this week...isn't that when you do spring cleaning?
5. We read we could save energy by cleaning the coils on the frig... now where are they?
4. It was time to find those muscles I haven't used since last spring cleaning.
3. We want to enjoy sunlight through the window instead of doggy nose prints.
2. Because the house needed it.
1.When done with Day One it gave me a reason to celebrate with fruit, cheese,and a glass of merlot . Wine is good for the heart, right?
I attended first grade at Silver King School and my brother and I spend many hours there after school and on week-ends with Mom when she stayed late or went back on Sunday to put up bulletin boards, correct workbooks, feed the fish, set up art projects, or organize her annual Valentine Post Office. My brother attended first and second grade there. My sister hadn't been born yet.
When remembering Silver King School I think of the Stock Room. Spending time in this room must have started my lifelong love for school supplies. The Stock Room was right next to my mom’s second grade classroom. It was the small room that held all the supplies teachers needed. It was always open. It was one place my brother and I could be found while Mom did her teacher work. The sights and smells captivated me.
A wall of closets had doors that opened me up to a whole world of construction paper. There were shelves of paper in different sizes and colors. Close by was a big, green paper cutter that I am sure was off limits to us. Nestled on the shelves across the room were stacks of handwriting paper. The size of the dotted and colored lines corresponded with the grade you were in and whether you printed or did cursive. There was also newsprint, ditto paper, and heavy poster board. Colorful crayon collections were always a sight to behold. Powdered poster paint in cardboard containers lined another shelf. Sometimes Mom would have me stock her room with supplies. It was a task I relished. I loved counting out the piles of paper and organizing them by color and size.
One smell that takes me back to Silver King School was the minty aroma of school paste. There were big jars of that white paste in the Stock Room. Teachers would carry the big jars to their classrooms and fill smaller baby food jars for their students to use at their desks. I remember that cool feel of the white paste and the minty smell. I asked my Mom last night if RC was the student that always ate paste. She laughed and asked, “Didn’t all second graders eat paste? It had that peppermint taste and smell you know.” I guess lots of kids did eat paste. I remember the smell and feel. I don’t know… maybe I did sneak a taste.
Another distinctive smell was the fluid for the ditto machine. (This was the machine used before copy machines youngsters). A strong fluid from a silver metal jug was poured in the machine and turned a white ditto master into copies in purple ink. Mom and her colleagues called it the purple plague. I loved to operate the ditto machine. Through six-year-old eyes it seemed magical that this machine could take white paper, a ditto master, and fluid and produce volumes of text.
The old, black typewriter captivated our attention often. We would roll paper in the manual machine and type away like we knew right where to put our fingers on the keys. Again, it was magical to see blank paper produce text. We traded off punching the keys and watching words form sentences. Mom also told me last night that one of her teaching partners frowned on our use of the typewriter. Mom must have understood then our desire to put words to paper. Whether it was at that typewriter, on lined paper from the shelves, or with chalk on the blackboard in her classroom Mom provided ample opportunities for us to put letters to words during that time spent at Silver King School. She never made us stop using that typewriter in the Stock Room. Mom gave us the time and tools to begin telling our stories. That was forty-five years ago. We still continue to tell our stories.
My blog friend at gracioushospitality posted a picture of her friend's dog Scarlet on March 19th under the title Desert Wishes. There are also pictures on March 20th under More Desert Beauty. Scarlet is a red heeler just like our Shelby. JEJ believes they have to be related. I will have to investigate where her friend's dog came from. Australian Cattle Dogs are herding dogs and make wonderful, loyal pets. Gracious had the same thoughts about Scarlet. Shelby's only jobs are herding her Springer buddy Annie and the cats. I think it keeps her pretty busy. Go check out Scarlet. Could they be separated at birth?
When I get overwhelmed and feel like eight of those hours have been robbed from my day, I peruse time management books at a bookstore or online. Just reading titles like Organizing from the Inside Out and Leave the Office Early add extra minutes to my rushed schedule. Books with titles like this sitting on my shelf work wonders. Somehow by osmosis I hope the suggestions and ideas will just fall into my busy brain.
Recently I did take time to begin the book Find More Time by Laura Stack. Looking at the picture above, the cover screams relaxation and reclaiming your time. Laura has the book organized by Pillars that are all P words: plans, priorities, personality, pests, possessions, paper, post, and play (blogger note: post is not what I am doing now... it is the place you reside). Just pronouncing all those P words makes me feel more in control of my time. There are quizzes for each P. I am the queen of quizzes. Good information often, but not a lot of follow-thru! The section I have gleaned wise thoughts from is Pests, which are the time robbers in your life. I have moved through many time management phases. I read the "simplify your life" set, the "organization, system, declutter" set and now this book. Have I found more time? Overall, I think so.
JEJ and I have worked harder at prioritizing what is important to us. I carve out time for writing, gardening, and other hobbies I love. I don't spend as much time venting with co-workers at the end of the day. I am careful what extra tasks I commit to outside of my hours at school. We don't just get in the car and go out to breakfast now ( well.... sometimes still). We organize trips to town, make time for camping at quiet locations with our dogs, and are purposeful in the trips we take. We build in time for volunteer work, but watch less television and movies. Taking a walk through the gardens each day noticing what has grown and changed is a higher priority than complaining with a neighbor about a barking dog or wayward cat.
It is a journey, but I feel more surefooted than I did a few years ago. Days and months seem to move in cycles with events that often none of us can control. That is when we prioritize, rest, and recharge. Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite authors. Here is her quote that hangs above my computer.
"Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around." Enjoy your next twenty-four hours. Remember to rest and recharge!
Fluency, fluency, fluency
Time, time, time
Authentic, authentic, authentic
9. It allows all of us to see writing as a recursive process.
Writer considers topic, audience, purpose, and form
Prewriting, drafting, responding and revising, editing, formatting/publishing
Writers are free to move in any direction back and forth throughout the process
8. It provides opportunities for having fun with words.
Word choice, word walls, words in literature
7. I can use my favorite examples of well-written text.
Poetry, poetry, poetry
Things that make my students laugh
Quality writing about topics they care about
6. It provides a structured format to use the gradual release model.
I do it, we do it, you do it.
5. It helps my students view themselves as authors.
Writers’ notebooks, sharing their lives
Writing as gifts
Opportunities to share and publish
4. It helps my students see that reading writing connection.
Immersed in good models of text
Work with the structures of text
Read, read, read
3. Writing gives students opportunities to show their thinking.
Responding to reading
Writing for all contents
2. It will give my students a glimpse into my writing world.
Model my process and drafts- warts and all
Learn together to create a writing community
Gives me more opportunities to write
1. I want to find time for writing in my classroom because I am passionate about writing and writing instruction and I want my students to share that passion.
I didn't know much about serious gardening at that point. Previously gardening was buying pony packs of annual plants at the nursery and putting them in pots, beds, and borders every year for color. They were beautiful, but it was expensive and short term. I knew I wanted a long term plan with the gardens at this new place. I took a class on landscaping and read, researched, and continued to refine the plan.
I ran into a huge glitch early on. My soil was not even really soil in my mind. It was sand. When you hear the term "sandy soil" you imagine a soil that is a bit gritty that water flows through easily. Mine was sand... pure and simple. The good news was I didn't have to get my soil analyzed. I knew what I was dealing with and just had to figure out how to amend it. I started to compost, but didn't have enough "green stuff" to make it work quickly. Lots of brown stuff, but since I was living alone there were not enough vegetable peelings and coffee grounds to work.
Through my research I found a combination of amendments that worked best for sandy soil. If you have a different kind of soil you can adjust this recipe easily. Obviously I didn't have to add sand to the mix. I started by amending small gardens and raised beds and each year the soil turned richer and healthier. Since that early start I (and now we) have also used lots of manure and continued with compost. We had chickens that provided rich, "hot" manure that had to rest before use. We also keep rabbits because they have a "cold" manure that can be added immediately. Flowers love rabbit pellets... but alas, another glitch. The dogs love rabbit pellets also.
Inland Empire Girl's Soil Mix Recipe
for Sandy Soil
1 1/2 bushels peat moss
1 bushel perlite or vermiculite
2 bushels compost
1 cup blood meal
1 cup green sand
1/2 cup lime
2 cups bone meal
Soak the peat moss. Add the other ingredients in a large wheelbarrow or tub. Add time release fertilizer. ( We like Osmocote... use according to package directions.)
Use as top dressing in garden beds or containers. We have read that deer don't like blood meal and it keeps them away. We have fencing, so I cannot say if that is true. I look forward to mixing up my first batch in a few weeks! I find the ingredients at my local feed store, but most gardening centers carry these products. This is not a quick fix and it is not cheap. Amending soil is a slow process, but I am glad eleven years ago I decided on a long term plan. It has been well worth the patience and time it has taken. This is the first in a series of posts on soil amending. Please pass on your tried and true methods for enriching your soil. I always love to learn from other gardeners.
.... Gotta go. The Carpenters are singing “Close to You” and I need to find a perfume bottle microphone and do a little singing to my dogs Annie and Shelby.
Thanks Gonzaga: Inspiration Forever
Try Green Irish Fireworks
Try Green Icy Frosting
Try Good Iced Frappuccino
Try Green Irish Farts
First I began writing memoir. It helped me make sense of the events of my life. Then I began to read memoir. It helped validate in my mind that other authors had to make sense of the events in their lives. Below is a list of memoir books that did just that.
First on the list is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I read her book in a week-end. I kept stopping to remind myself that she survived to reveal this sad, funny, moving memoir. It is her story of a childhood that included adventure, colorful characters, a father that wanted to design a “glass castle”, and living conditions that break your heart. In an honest voice she reminds us that teachers are important and writing can help you make sense of your life as you live it.
Next from my list is Name All the Animals by Alison Smith. Smith’s coming of age memoir captures her adolescent years and how grief can affect all aspects of life. The death of her only brother and the events that follow cause her to question her Catholic faith, her relationship with her parents, and her own demons. Grief can take on many faces and Smith tells her story with honesty and courage.
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the third on my list. In the forward she states “ I was not abused, abandoned, or locked up as a child.” In a fresh way she writes of an ordinary life. The book begins with a timeline, then is organized in alphabetical order as an encyclopedia would be. Under C you can read about Capricious and under P Parking Ticket. She has taken random thoughts, insights, and truth and arranged them to make sense. It made me laugh as I also recalled memories of childhood foods, cream rinse, and 1975. You want to call Amy,meet her for coffee, and reminisce.. Also, I love memoir that makes you laugh.
A few more on my list… Liars’ Club by Mary Karr ,The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, In The Wilderness by Kim Barnes, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp, and Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett.
After the first year teaching at my current school, we lost a student to a tragic accident. It was the first student I had lost, and the first funeral I had attended in this town. After her death I wanted to honor her with this poem.When I see tundra swans on Lake Roosevelt I always think of her.
in memory of S.A. Swan
A Sacred Place On Lake Roosevelt
Remember, I wanted you to take it home
Don’t apologize for the day your mother arrived
You were good to steady her when
Don’t apologize for the day you forgot the words
Remember, we wrote them, whispered them,
Don’t apologize for the day after recess when
Because your other teacher kept you in your seat,
Don’t apologize for the day you never appeared,
Don’t apologize for the day at summer school when
We tried to read, we tried to write,
Don’t apologize for leaving before I could say
Remember, S.A., you were a fragile duckling,
A co-worker brought these muffins to a breakfast gathering a few years ago. Ever since that time I have loved the flavors of chocolate and orange together. There is something about the rich, bittersweet chips with the added zest and freshness of orange that makes a perfect combination. Sitting on the deck on an early spring morning we can enjoy the view ( see right), sip cups of fresh brewed coffee and savor Chocolate Orange Muffins.
Chocolate Orange Muffins
makes 12 muffins
2 medium oranges, well scrubbed and wiped dry
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips ( or good-quality bittersweet bar)
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
Heat oven to 375. Grease muffin tins or use foil baking cups.
Finely grate orange peel. Chop chocolate if not using chips. Beat sugar and butter in bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add orange peel. Add yogurt, orange juice, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Sprinkle flour then chocolate over batter. Fold gently just enough to blend flour.Put batter in muffin cups. Bake 15-25 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn out onto a rack.