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September 24, 2011


Where do I even begin? Wow... I was watching Barefoot Contessa the other day and Ina was making her signature chocolate chip cookies. My next day neighbor, being the sweetheart that he is, squeezed my daughter into his salon for a hair appointment, and while we were there, he mentioned something about liking dark chocolate. So, I've been wanted to try Ina's chocolate chip cookie recipe, so I added my own twist. I went to Trader Joe's, picked up a bar of 72% dark chocolate (the Pound Plus...17.6 ounces), chopped it up and threw that into the cookie dough.

Since I doubled the recipe, and I knew that my kids aren't huge fans of dark chocolate, so I split the dough before adding the chunks of chocolate, and made it two ways. The first being the dark, and a batch of semi-sweet. Wow, can you say yummy goodness? It put such a smile on my face, but I think I got an even bigger smile when I saw the excitement from my kids and my neighbors. There's just something truly blissful about making others happy around you.

September 18, 2011

One of the cool things about our yard is all the creatures we attract. Based on my previous post, clearly mice and rats are included. We have these hummingbirds that duke it out every year laying claim on our backyard...whether it be the salvia bushes or the feeder we have up. It's pretty entertaining watching them chase one another and cuss each other out in the process. They all have their own branches they perch upon while waiting to ambush any trespassers.

It's also pretty amazing seeing how brave they are. Even if I approach the feeder, I hear them throwing slurs at me from the trees. When I sit outside on my patio table, which is literally next to a salvia bush and their feeder, they approach it as if I'm just another fixture in the yard. Apparently, I have become one of their own...a sort of Dancing with the Wolves, if you will...only it's me Hanging with the Hummingbirds.

September 16, 2011


So, this is not one of the finer photographs in life, but it did bring me some joy. You see, it all started 9 years ago when we moved here. We had a hot tub and a whole lot of ivy growing all over the place. Shortly after, we noticed mice and rats. I guess this is what you get when you move into an older home near an agricultural field.

We didn't actually discover them until we went to remove the hot tub and found tunnels and skeletons in the foam insulation. Gross, right? Well, we then started hearing them under the house and in the garage. We tried a variety of methods leaving rotten smells streaming through our house.

It has been some time since we've had them inside the garage...that is until I noticed one day that there were a few cardboard boxes that were shredded to smitherings. We called our pest control and some weeks later, we got 'em! We got 3 actually. A joyous day it is! I chose to take this photo, as the other two were caught in snap traps. Maybe we should leave them for a couple more days as a warning to the others... Or not...