April 22, 2013 § 11 Comments
The batter for this chocolate cake can be mixed in one bowl. The secret ingredient (tomato juice) adds extra nutrients, and cannot be tasted. Dave and I had this for dinner last night, and it was delicious. We didn’t make icing, and just sprinkled the cake with powdered sugar.
Easy one-bowl chocolate cake
6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate (6 squares)
3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
1-1/2 cup white sugar
1-1/2 cups tomato juice (11.5-ounce can)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350-degrees fahrenheit. Microwave the chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Remove from the microwave, and stir until the chocolate is compeltely melted. Stir in the sugar. Whisk in the tomoato juice and then the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and salt. Pour into a greased 9-inch by 14-inch pan. Place in the preheated oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
April 17, 2013 § 4 Comments
Dave enjoys working in the fields, and hardly a weekend goes by where he isn’t out on the tractor. This past weekend, he mowed the grass in the pastures and around the house. He took care to leave the many clover patches untouched. The clover provides sustenance for the bees, will also eventually be composted into our fields to provide nitrogen to our soil.
April 12, 2013 § 5 Comments
Libby: I think Otis needs a bridge or something. One of his bottom teeth is broken in half, and the rest of his teeth are crooked.
Dave: He’s a DOG.
Libby: Sure. But I worry about his bite. Plus, self esteem. Do you think he KNOWS he has Austin Powers teeth?
Dave: He’s a DOG.
Libby: I know, but still, I worry.
Dave: Look: he goes to the dentist more than we do. He’s a dog. He eats cat poop. His system is optimized for sloppy living. He doesn’t need dental work or false teeth, or whatever else ridiculous self-esteemy thing you think he might want. He’s a dog. He licks his own parts. He really doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks.
April 10, 2013 § 9 Comments
Last night I was walking past the front door, when I noticed a mysterious lump in the rug. Closer inspection revealed a fuzzy little face peering out.
I’m fairly sure Chief had the idea to hide under the rug, and then pounce on me or one of the dogs as we walked past. But when he became aware that I had discovered him, he lost his nerve and immediately ran into bedroom closet (probably to poop in my shoes or something).
April 9, 2013 § 3 Comments
I’ve been travelling recently, and have also taken on some new work assignments. With my increased workload, I’ve found that I’ve lapsed into a bad habit of focusing on the future, as opposed to living in the moment. Today, I rushed home after two morning meetings with intentions to quickly change clothes and head to my next scheduled event. I pulled into the driveway, and then juggled books and my computer bag to find my house key. As I stood at the mudroom door, thinking about my day’s to-do list, I happened to glance over at the duckpond. A few white heron stood around in the yard, enjoying the windy day. A little rain came down, and instead of running for cover, I made myself stop and enjoy the moment.
So many times, we get so caught up in the mundane tasks of everyday life, and we forget about how to enjoy that which is right in front of our eyes. I’ve been so busy that until this afternoon, I failed to notice the many wildflowers that Dave has so carefully encouraged to grow around the house. I also neglected to take the time to listen to the many frogs in the pond, and enjoy the hawks, osprey, and heron on our property. I think that in the weeks to come I’ll force myself to take some time for myself, and enjoy some of the many things that we have come to appreciate here at our little farmhouse.
April 2, 2013 § 9 Comments
You’re probably wondering what the heck happened to us…
Lots of stuff has happened. A new school term started, and I am signed up to teach THREE college classes. What was I thinking? The college actually asked me to teach five classes, but logic prevailed, and I ended up with just three. This is on top of my regular day job, which is thankfully very flexible.
Also, last week was spring break, which was actually kind of nice. Dave and I had our wedding anniversary last week also. We didn’t do much (which was exactly how we planned it). But meanwhile, Dave spontaneously decided that our farmhouse refrigerator is too small (I agree with him on this), and so he woke up early on Sunday (Easter morning) and moved our refrigerator into the kitchen and then started removing walls.
Several hours later (me sleeping late because I work until midnight these days), I woke up, and discovered a tremendous hole which was the former home of our refrigerator. For the rest of the day, I alternated between working on a proposal for work, and helping Dave with his refrigerator project. I helped Dave to rip out the old drywall, and then expand the refrigerator opening in our kitchen to accommodate a much larger refrigerator. Dave also built an EXTREMELY FANCY (i.e. NASA-engineered-design) platform for the new refrigerator, which (since we are both taller than average) will make refrigerator access a little easier.
During this exciting project, Dave also managed to completely dump the contents of our current refrigerator onto the floor of the kitchen. He said he was trying to move a refrigerator by himself because he wanted me to be able to work on other stuff, but in the end, the refrigerator tipped and there was a mess of condiments and leftovers that we both had to scrape and clean off the floor.
I’m sort of a pro at this, after being married to Dave for 11+ years now. He’s very handy, but also spontaneous. This means lots of midnight projects, and plenty of unplanned expeditions to hardware stores. Guaranteed, if it’s a holiday, Dave is at the hardware store, trying to buy screws or some other necessary item, and he can’t figure out why the place isn’t open.