Friday, August 29, 2008

What’s cooking?

Quick and easy
The Denver Omelet
In honor of the democratic convention coming to a close in Denver I thought I would share a trademark recipe from Colorado, the always favorite, quick and easy, Denver Omelet. I am sure that the same can be said of many of the Democratic supporters who flocked to the Mile High City last week that they too were both quick and easy. I am sure that Hilary and Bill Clinton would agree with me on this -if you want to make an omelet or get a democrat elected president you are going to have to crack a few eggs. So let’s get cracking!
A quick and easy meal that just takes 15 minutes from start to finish.


Teaspoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons chopped fully cooked ham
1 tablespoon finely chopped bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
Heat butter in 8-inch omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat just until butter begins to brown. As butter melts, tilt pan to coat bottom. Cook ham, bell pepper and onion in butter 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Quickly pour eggs into pan. While sliding pan back and forth rapidly over heat, quickly stir with fork to spread eggs continuously over bottom of pan as they thicken. Let stand over heat a few seconds to lightly brown bottom of omelet. (Do not overcook—omelet will continue to cook after folding.)
3. Tilt pan and run fork under edge of omelet, then jerk pan sharply to loosen eggs from bottom of pan. Fold portion of omelet nearest you just to center. (Allow for portion of omelet to slide up side of pan.) Turn omelet onto warm plate, flipping folded portion of omelet over so it rolls over the bottom. Tuck sides of omelet under if necessary.
Nutrition Information
1 Serving: Calories 260 (Calories from Fat 180 ); Total Fat 20 g (Saturated Fat 9 g); Cholesterol 455 mg; Sodium 430 mg; Total Carbohydrate 3 g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 17 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 18 %; Vitamin C 6 %; Calcium 6 %; Iron 8 % Exchanges: 1 Vegetable; 2 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Personally when I make a Denver omelet I substitute cheese for the bell peppers but then it’s just a ham and cheese omelet, but I like it better that way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wow, I never knew that!

Because I feel like I am coming down with a cold I thought I would find all the interesting things about the common cold that I could. Here are a few of them. I hope you are enlightened by them and if you excuse I need to go blow my nose.

For example did you know that the first person to be diagnosed with the common cold was John Commons in 1611? Or that John promptly infected William Shakespeare with his cold. As a result William Shakespeare claimed that the cold made his love sickness worse which inspired him to write several sonnets.


Did you know that there are more then 200 different viruses that can cause cold symptoms?


I think I have had all of then at least once.

Or did you know that the average person gets over 100 colds in their life time?

And very importantly did you know that vitamin C has shown no effect in preventy8ng the catching of a cold or in the curing of a cold and can actually be harmful to the kidneys if taken in large quantities?


I am pretty sure I have already had more then my fair share.

Also did you know that a sneeze can travel at 100 miles per hour?


That is very fast probably the fastest I have ever done anything in my entire life.

And finally do you know why we say God bless you or gesundheit to some one when they sneeze? Well it’s because thousand of years ago the Greeks would say Jupiter preserve you or salve which means good health y to you. This was later changed to God bless you by Pope Gregory the Great who said it during the bubonic plague when people who contracted the disease here one of the signs of the plague was copiously sneezing And that gesundheit which is a German word meaning health is said when a person sneezes because sneezing very often proceeded ill health.


I am done now and I am going to take my stuffy nose, scratchy throat and achy head and go to bed. See you later.

Wednesday’s poetry corner.

After being awakened last night at 3:30 by the sound of thunder, very loud and close thunder I thought this poem would be appropriate for this week poetry corner.

A TEMPEST - An awful tempest mashed the air
Emily Dickinson

An awful tempest mashed the air,
The clouds were gaunt and few;
A black, as of a spectre's cloak,
Hid heaven and earth from view.

The creatures chuckled on the roofs
And whistled in the air,
And shook their fists and gnashed their teeth.
And swung their frenzied hair.

The morning lit, the birds arose;
The monster's faded eyes
Turned slowly to his native coast,
And peace was Paradise!


Tuesday’s person of the week.

Yes I know its Wednesday but with school the kids and what not, I did not get this finished until just now. Wednesday’s regular post will be this afternoon.

This week’s person of the week is not one person but several people who have made an incredible difference to my daughter. I am talking about the staff of her school. Robyn is a very smart, funny delightfully silly little girl who has some pretty big struggles with school. In addition to having an absent seizer disorder that is thankfully controlled by medication, she also struggles with her focus and handwriting. Instead of being frustrated and anxious about school, Robyn is thriving and she loves going each and every day. This is because of the incredible staff at her school.

I wish I could name each and every one of the teachers and staff members who have made such a difference to my daughter and my son, but for privacy sakes I can not. From the principal of the school to the lady who serves her lunch everyday the people at her school are the absolute best. Her principal knows the names of each and every student as well as knowing who that child’s parents are. The office staff is always ready and willing to help no matter what. The school nurse has been there to give Robyn her daily medicine that controls her absent seizures. She has been supportive and encouraging of her ever since they met when my daughter walked through the doors in preschool four years ago. The music, art, and PE teachers have all helped Robyn to develop her creative and active side which has been very good for her. She will tell anyone who will listen just what a wonderful singer she is.

The people who have made the biggest impact on my daughters’ life are her teachers. It was her speech teacher that noticed something was wrong and called me which led to her being diagnosed with absent seizures. It has been her teachers who have worked with her and been concerned enough to call us when they noticed she was having trouble staying focused in class and difficulty writing. It has been Robyn’s classroom teacher, speech teacher, school psychologist, occupational therapist, resource teacher and school nurse who have been there and worked with us to meet Robin’s needs so that she can fully express all that is inside her just waiting to burst out. They have done all this with an incredible amount of love for our daughter. I cannot imagine how difficult my daughters’ struggles with school would be and how frustrated and unhappy she would be if not for this dedicated team of professionals. They are determined that Robyn will succeed; all they have to do is figure out how to unleash her potential. I love each and every one of them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vocabulary word of the week.


Origin: It is from the Middle English weri, which is from the Old English word wērig.

Part of speech: It is both an adjective and a verb.

History of the word



1. Physically or mentally fatigued.

2. Expressive of or prompted by fatigue: a weary smile.

3. Having one's interest, forbearance, or indulgence worn out: weary of delays.

4. Alternate ending for adverbs: wearily


To make or become weary.

Causing fatigue; tiresome: a weary wait

It can also be a noun as in weariness

I am extremely weary this afternoon. It was a very rough night. It started off with the absolute inability to fall asleep. I lay there watching the time move steadily onward and calculated ok if I fall asleep now that’s still 5 hours of sleep I will be ok. This continued for a while and then I finally fell asleep only to awaken up some time later and noticed the house was really dark and really quite, which is not a good thing when you live in Arizona and you need the air or at least the ceiling fan on in order to sleep comfortably. The power was off and I had no idea what time it was. I woke up my husband and told him the power was off and I don’t have any idea what time it is. He says” no problem we can fins the time from his cell phone” so I reach into my night stand drawer to get the flashlight I keep there so we can find his cell phone. Only the flashlight is gone, my lovely daughter was playing with it to make a light show in her room and naturally she did not put it back. Somehow my husband finds his cell phone in the dark and we find out it was 3:50 so Duane decides to shower and go to work early very early. After taking his shower by flashlight he leaves with the promise he will call at 6:30 to wake us up in time to get to school and work. Only the power came back at 4:40 which woke me up and then his alarm cloak went off at 4:50 which woke me up and then again ten minutes latter when the snooze alarm went off. And then finally I woke up at 6:00 are figured I might as well get up. I’m very weary.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What’s cooking?

Recipes that are sure to empress.

I made this dish for a boy friend a long time ago. He must have liked because he married me. I never cooked it again which might explain why we are no longer married and I am now married to someone who does not care that I do not cook alot and instead choose to make simpler meals.


6 to 8 skinned and boned chicken breasts
1 egg
Cracker crumbs


1/2 c. chopped mushrooms
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1 1/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Prepare cheese filling first. Cook mushroom in butter 5 minutes. Blend in flour, stir in milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Cover and chill 1 hour. Cut cheese into sticks.

Place a cheese stick on each chicken breast. Tucking in sides, roll chicken like a jelly roll. Press to seal well. Dust rolls with flour, dip in slightly beaten egg, then roll thoroughly in fine crumbs. Cover and chill 1 hour.

· The recipe I used had you flatten out the chicken breast by placing them between plastic wrap and hitting it with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. It is a lot of fun and if you have kids, they might enjoy helping with this part.

One hour before serving fry chicken rolls in hot oil for 5 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel. Place chicken rolls in baking dish and bake in slow 325 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

It is actually a simple dish to make even if it is a little time consuming due to having to chill it for a while but it taste good and it looks very impressive on the plate.

The recipe was taken from this site:,1739,155161-251203,00.html

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wow, I never knew that!

If you had to choose one of the land mammals to be your partner in a potato sack race, which one should you never choose? If you said the elephant, you would be correct, because elephants cannot jump. That is right, the plucky pachyderm cannot jump, not at all. You would be better off choosing a three toed sloth because they can jump even if it is very slowly. This got me thinking, why can’t they jump. They have hips and knees like all the other mammals that are capable of jumping, why cannot they break the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of God. At first, it seemed a little unfair that the poor elephant should be singled out but then I remembered that they are the only land mammal that can pick up their food with their nose and that is pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday’s poetry corner.

Wednesday’s poem is by Robert Louis Stevenson

In keeping with my summer time theme, I found Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem, “Bed In Summer” Like the child in this poem I to remember going to bed when the sun was still up and thinking how unfair it was. I did not care what time it was if the sun was up there was still fun to be had. It was so hard to fall asleep in a room that was too hot and too light. It seemed as though the blinds were never god enough to block out the summer sun. The only thing that seemed to help was when my mom would cool off the sheets and pillowcase by spaying them with Lysol, which for some reason made the bedding delightfully cool.

Bed In Summer

In winter I get up at night,
And dress by yellow candle light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day,

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown up people's feet
Still going past me in the street,

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

by Robert Louis Stevenson


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday’s person of the week.

Nastia Liukin is my person of the week because of the grace and maturity she showed when the judges awarded the gold medal to her competitor despite the fact that they both had identical scores in the uneven bars. Despite the seemly unfairness of this, Nastia refused to complain or criticize the judges. She showed a great deal of sportsmanship and maturity when she said, “It’s nothing I can control, and honestly, I can say it has been very fair to me, and I got the biggest gold medal of them all,” said Liukin, winner of the women’s all-around gymnastics gold.” A lot of people would not have been so understanding about loosing the gold medal despite having identical scores to the girl who received the gold medal claiming it wasn’t fair but Nastia showed a great deal of maturity. For that, she deserves to be the person of the week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Vocabulary word of the week.


Origin: It is a French word from the Latin amateur, which means lover, and amare, which means to love.

Part of speech: It is both a noun and adjective.

History of the word: according to the history of the word amateur is “When Mrs. T.W. Atkinson remarked in her 1863 Recollections of the Tartar Steppes and their Inhabitants, “I am no amateur of these melons,” she used amateur in a sense unfamiliar to us. That sense, “a lover, an admirer,” is, however, clearly descended from the senses of the word's ultimate Latin source, amātor, “lover, devoted friend, devotee, enthusiastic pursuer of an objective,” and from its Latin-derived French source, amateur, with a similar range of meanings. First recorded in English in 1784 with the sense in which Mrs. Atkinson used it, amateur is found in 1786 with a meaning more familiar to us, “a person who engages in an art, for example, as a pastime rather than as a profession,” a sense that had already developed in French. Given the limitations of doing something as an amateur, it is not surprising that the word is soon after recorded in the disparaging sense we still use to refer to someone who lacks professional skill or ease in performance.”

Definition: There are six definitions of the word. Three of them are nouns and three of them are adjectives.


1. Someone for whom the study of art, science or athletics is a pastime and not a profession

2. An athlete who never accepts money for participating in a competition.


3. Someone who lack skill as a professional.


1. Something that is performed by an amateur.

2. Made up by amateurs.

3. Something that is not professional or is unskilled.

I like the idea that the word amateur comes from the word to love. This I feel is truly what the Olympics is about, these athletes compete for the love of they sport and not fro any monetary gain.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Satisfy your sweet tooth.

During the hot summer month in Colorado when I was a little girl, my mother used to make this dessert for her bridge club. A delightfully refreshing dessert is both sweet and tart.


1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup juice from a lemon

1/4 cup lemon rind grated very fine

1 cup whipping cream (whipped)

1/2 cup crushed vanilla wafers or cookies.


1. Butter the sides and bottom of a loaf pan and then coat the sides and bottom with the cookie crumbs. Shake the remaining crumbs into a bowl and save for later. You can also do this in ice cube tray if you like but I prefer the loaf pan.

2. Beat the 1 egg and the 2 egg yolks using a hand mixer on top of a double boiler. Add all but 1 TBS of sugar to the egg mixture, add the lemon juice and the lemon rind, and cook until it is thick.

3. Beat the thickened mixture until it is fluffy. Cool it until it is cold.

4. While your custard mixture is cooling, in a separate bowl beat your egg whites with 1 TBS of sugar until it forms peaks.

5. Fold the stiff egg whites into the cold custard mix and then fold in the whipped cream.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and freeze.

7. Cut into pie shaped pieces or pop them out of the ice tray and enjoy!

I will be making this dessert this weekend for a BBQ and I am sure it will be a great crowd pleaser.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wow, I never knew that!

The next time you pour your self a nice cold beverage and add a cube or two of ice you should be grateful that it floats because if it did not life on earth world not be possible. Every other liquid becomes denser and sinks when it freezes except for water, which becomes less dense and floats. If this were not true then when water froze it would sink to the bottom of the oceans, seas, rivers and lakes. As the freezing process continued, it would continue to sink and eventually the oceans, seas, rivers and lakes would be completely frozen solid. This would result in the death of all living creatures in the water thus making life on earth impossible. Aren’t you glad that water does not follow the normal pattern of liquids and does in fact float which guarantees that life continues as we know it and it means that it is possible to be hit on the nose by an ice cube when drinking a cold beverage?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday’s poetry corner.

I wanted a poem about summer and childhood and I remembered this poem and thought it appropriate.

John Greenleaf Whittier


Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberrys on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,--
I was once a barefoot boy!

Prince thou art,--the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou more hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,--
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood's painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor's rules,
Knowledge never learned in schools,
Of the wild bee's morning chase,
Of the wild-flower's time and place,
Fight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell,
How the woodchuck digs his cell,
And the ground-mole sinks his well;
How the robin feeds her young,
How the oriole's nest is hung,
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Where the ground-nut trails its vine,
Where the wood-grape's clusters shine;
Of the black wasp's cunning way,
Mason of his walls of clay,
And the architectural plans
Of gray hornet artisans!
For, eschewing books and tasks,
Nature answers all he asks;
Hand in hand with her he walks,
Face to face with her he talks,
Part and parcel of her joy,--
Blessings on the barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood's time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone;
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night,
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Still as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too;
All the world I saw and knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy,
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!

Oh for festal dainties spread,
Like my bowl of milk and bread;
Pewter spoon and bowl of wood,
On the door-stone, gray and rude!
O'er me, like a regal tent,
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent,
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold,
Looped in many a wind-swung fold;
While for music came the play
Of the pied frogs' orchestra;
And, to light the noisy choir,
Lit the fly his lamp of fire,
I was a monarch: pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy!

Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat;
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prisons cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt's for work be shod,
Made to tread the mills of toil,
Up and down in ceaseless moil:
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin.
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!

This is my barefoot boy with cheek of tan. If his feet are any indication he may end up being six feet or taller by the time he is all grown up.

Another reason I like this poem because it has one of my favorite punch lines. A Chinese gentleman has a teak orchard, which he is very proud of but lately he has noticed that some one is stealing his teak. This makes him very angry but the only clue he has are small footprints about the size of a boy leading in and out of his orchard. He decides he is going to catch the thief so spends the night in his orchard waiting for the thief to come. I the middle of the night he hears rustling and runs out from his hiding place to see a bear with very tiny feet taking his teak. The China man yells at the bear” There you are bear foot boy with teak of Chan.” It always makes me laugh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday’s person of the week.

My first person of the week is a teacher who has made an incredible difference to the students of Harlem, Kay Toliver. One of the requirements for my course work in “Methods for Teaching SEI and ESL” was to watch a DVD entitled “Good morning Miss Toliver.” Kay Tolliver teaches math to junior high school students in Harlem. I was won over by her approach to teaching, as were her students. Kay is a smart funny energetic woman who brings her excitement about math and learning to her students. In turn, her students are excited about learning and are very engaged in the process. She is very attached to her students and they in turn are clearly in love with her. Miss Toliver has a way of making math fun. She teaches by real life hands on experiences. One of the fun activities they did was to make a math trail. The purpose was to show her students that math is everywhere they go. The class went on a field trip of their neighborhood with a Polaroid camera and looked for math. They would take pictures and write a math problem about what they saw. For example one of the questions was when you sit on the bench look at the tree right in front of you what kind of angles do you see. After they had done this, they returned to their class and made a math trail that another class could the read follow the directions look at the pictures arrive at the destinations and answer the math questions. When it was fished, it was a very nice book and the children had learned a lot about math and how they actually do use it in the real world. I wish I had had a teacher like Miss Toliver when I was in school and I hope that some day I can bring that same level of enthusiasm to my students and have them as engage in learning as she is able to do, she is truly an inspiration to her students as well as other teachers and those of us who are learning to be teachers. Thank you Miss Toliver.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Word of the week.


Origin: It is a Middle English word, from old French, from the Latin word Musa and from the Greek word Mousa.

Part of speech: It is a noun.

History of the word: The earliest origins of the word come form Mnemosyne who was the goddess of memory and the mother of the muses. The Latin word Musa and the Greek word mousa originated from the original word montya and was eventually became the word muse.

Definition: There are three definitions of the word.

1. It means any one of the Mnemosyne and Zeus’s nine daughters, each one associated with a different art or science.

2. It also means a guiding spirit or a source of inspiration.

3. The last definition of the word is a poet.

I was beginning to wonder if my muse was ever going to come back from summer vacation but she did and I inspired again and looking forward to the changes in my blog. I hope you like them as well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What’s cooking?

Kid approved.

Burrito squares.

This recipe comes from my husbands’ mother, Charlotte and even with my picky eaters, everyone likes this meal.


One package of Pillsbury crescent dinner roll dough

One-pound ground beef

One package taco seasoning

0ne can of refried beans

One cup shredded cheddar cheese. I usually use more cheese because I really like cheese so use as much as you want. I do not think one cup is enough but some people do.

Directions: Brown the ground beef and add the taco seasoning according to the seasoning directions. When done set it aside.

Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray and spread the Pillsbury crescent dinner roll dough so that the bottom and sides of the pan are covered with dough.

Take the refried beans and spread them on top of the dough.

Cover the beans with the seasoned beefs and top with the shredded cheese.

Place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure that the dinner roll dough is fully cooked. If not, it will be doughy and nobody likes that.

If you like, you can eat it as is or you can add diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, salsa or anything else you think might be tasty. My family has done it both ways and no matter what we add or do not add it is always well received by my family. I hope you like it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And now for something totally different.

It may be 107 degrees out side but summer is over! The kids and I went back to school yesterday. It seems that now that I am no longer on vacation my muse has decided to get back to work as well. My muse had some ideas about getting things started up again and I like them. I will be positing again on a regular basis Monday through Friday and if the spirit moves maybe on the weekends as well.

Some things will be the same as last year but I am going to be introducing a few new ideas. The Wednesday poetry corner will be back as will the vocabulary word, but that will change a little bit to being the vocabulary word of the week, not the day. I will also be introducing some new items to the blog such as a person of the week, a “wow I never knew that”, and “what’s cooking?”

The new schedule for posts will be:

Monday: vocabulary word of the week. Since I will just be posting one word a week, I will go into more detail than simply the word, its pronunciation, and usage. I will also include its origin, history, and any other interesting facts about the word as well.

Tuesday: Person of the week. This will be a person who made a difference. They may be from current events, history or just someone I know who has made a difference in the world either for good or for bad.

Wednesday- poetry corner- This is my chance to share with you poets and their poems that I enjoy.

Thursday- Wow I never knew that! These posts will be about interesting facts I discover about anything and everything. It might be an interesting fact about science, history, geography, world events, religion, politics; anything that makes you say, Wow I never knew that! I am looking forward to doing the research for this days posting.

Friday- What’s cooking? This is my son’s idea and I liked it. I will find recipes that we have tried and share them with you. The first Friday of each month will be devoted to quick and easy recipes, the second Friday to recipes that are kid approved, the third Friday to recipes that satisfy the sweet tooth and finally the last Friday to recipes that are sure to impress. Who know maybe this will get me back in the kitchen and cooking again which should make my husband happy.

My muse is back, the juices are flowing again, and I am looking forward to an exciting year at school. I have two more methods classes and then I start student teaching. I have some new ideas for the blog and yesterday was my birthday. Life is good indeed.