Saturday, October 31, 2015


It is clear that getting through this school year is going to be tough.

How tough?

I have two exchange students who will declare their undying love if I just make them dessert.  Almost any dessert.  Even desserts that I goofed at.

(Did mention that these two are 16 year old boys?)

(One of them likes the new Beast Mode Frappucino at Starbucks.  The other hasn't tried it yet, sticking to venti caramel frappucinos.  Sometimes two at once, without getting a stomach ache.)

I am also getting dessert suggestions.  Although in the past I have joked that the reason I can't lose weight is because of my exchange students, THIS YEAR I MEAN IT!!!!

(They better gain a few extra pounds themselves.  Just sayin.)

This weeks contribution:  Carrot Cake.

My oldest grandson refuses to eat any vegetables.  He was motionless AND speechless AND with his mouth wide open when he found out that this extremely tasty treat was made with carrots.

Carrot Cake

From Jane Crosby
Wife of Dr. Glenn Crosby,
Retired Professor of Chemistry

1 cup oil
2 cups (14 oz) brown sugar)
4 eggs
½ tsp allspice
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour

3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts

Bake 325 F
Cupcakes 20-25 minutes
9 X 13 35-40 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz cream cheese
4 tsp butter
2 tsp vanilla

½ pound (2 cups) confectioners sugar

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Prezzies, I love Prezzies!

A recent post on facebook, suitably cryptic, now requires more detail.

We live in a area of town that seems to be dominated by bugs, probably because it is close to the river.  This means, of course, that bug predators abound:  birds and spiders.  It is getting colder outside, meaning that the predators want to come inside.  While it is relatively easy to keep the birds out, the spiders are smaller and more sneaky.

This year we also have two exchange students, 16 year old boys from Paris and Rome.  Although I do doubt their age; sometimes they act like 10 year olds, like fighting over the front seat in the car.  (Next time they do that on the way to school, they are walking!)  (And they'll be late!!)  (And now they've been warned, so it probably won't happen.)  (Rats.)  Other times they act incredibly mature, turning down games or TV in order to finish homework.  Last Sunday we had to talk them into a hike in the woods, which means that their sense of responsibility is slightly overdone.

I guess that is the nature of teenage boys.

Or girls.

Sunday night, Jack found a big spider, probably 1.5 inches in diameter (almost 4 cm) nonchalantly crawling across the dining room floor.  Not far from the cat food.  Thinking the cat might want to defend her possessions and have a play toy at the same time, Jack went to find her while I kept track of the spider.  She was in Lorenzo's room.  Soon I was joined by Jack, the cat, and Lorenzo.  The cat refused to play with her new toy and ran away.  (That is the nature of cats.)

Two things happened simultaneously:  Jack stepped on the spider and Lorenzo said "Don't kill it!  It will bring you money!"  I mused just how much money a spider can drag along, and can they lift coins or are they restricted to paper money, and would it be mugged on the way to my house?  I am fairly certain that, if the spider could be trained to recognize $100 bills (the largest denomination in common circulation), the time required to bring it to the house means that it really isn't a reliable source of income.

In the meantime, Jack disposed of the carcass.

Now you know why Lorenzo brought me a live spider Tuesday morning.

And it wasn't even my birthday!