Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That

It's been a rodent-y week.

The church building has been inundated with bats. They are always in the attic above the sanctuary in the summer, and occasionally one will find its way inside the building, but this time, they've REALLY dug in, to the point that some kind of professional bat-remover had to come and do some bat eradication in the attic.

And don't give me the "but they eat mosquitoes" argument, because the first time one is in the hallway with you at the preschool, diving towards your head, sending you screaming into a classroom and slamming the door, you'll want them all dead and gone, too.

This past Sunday morning, I was walking down a little hallway that leads to the women's restroom, I stopped short when I saw a bat hanging above the doorway. I looked in the room, trying to decide whether it would be worth it or not to make a dash under the sleeping bat and go on into the lounge area when I saw yet ANOTHER bat hanging from a window valance. That's when I turned tail and ran screaming down the hallway, "BAT, BAT, BAAAAAAT!!!"

He looks poised to drop on my head.

Taking a snooze.

Our trusty Mr. Doug, as usual, came to the rescue with a broom and a bucket and swept them both down and carried them outside.

Two days ago, I was putting some stuff away in a little-used closet in our fourth bedroom. We keep a glue board on the floor of the closet for spiders (because we have lots of them, especially in little-used closets and especially in hot weather), and I glanced down at it as I opened the door.

There were lots of dead spiders.

And a dead mouse.


I haven't opened that closet door in several months, so there's no telling how long it had been there.

And now I'm wondering what in the hell we have cats for, since it's obviously not for their mousing skills.

Completely. Worthless.

* * * * * * * * * *

My husband is on an iced tea kick and is making it in Mason jars and storing it in the fridge, looking not unlike jars of moonshine. 

I am a tea purist. I like it sweet and otherwise unflavored. No fruity crap, including lemon. 

My husband likes to experiment with flavors, but usually (always) forgets to tell me that he has done so.

And that is why I just took one swig of tea, gagged, and poured the rest of it down the drain. Cruel joke. Cruel. I should just stick to Diet Coke at home.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

I made a chocolate cake today, because on oncology appointment days, I deserve chocolate. 

I hate oncology appointments. They just remind me that I'm not completely okay.

Blood draw. Ow.

Monthly injection site, along with (fading)
tummy tuck scar. I look fat. Optical illusion, I swear.

I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe. It's quick and delish. Some people call it "Texas Sheet Cake," although I can't imagine what it has to do with Texas. Our family calls it "Marilyn's Sheet Cake" after a family friend who used to make it a lot.  Here's the recipe:

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. margerine
1 c. water
3 T. cocoa

Put all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat, stirring often, until everything is melted and smooth. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and whisk in the following ingredients:

2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Alternate adding the next two ingredients:

2 c. flour
1/2 c. buttermilk mixed with 1 tsp. baking soda

Last, whisk in:

2 eggs, beaten

Pour into greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is still hot, make the frosting:

1/2 c. margerine
6 T. milk
3 T. cocoa
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

Melt margerine in medium saucepan. Add milk and cocoa, remove from heat, then add powdered sugar and stir and stir until the cocoa and powdered sugar are completely dissolved.*  Pour over hot cake.

*I did not complete this step, because I was impatient, so mine was lumpy. And if I had included the pecans, no one would have been able to tell, but SOMEONE at my house doesn't like nuts in anything, so lumpy frosting it is. (I don't know how I raised this child who does not like nuts, because I come from a family where pecans make just about everything better [except chocolate chip cookies, which should never have nuts, but that's just personal preference]).

* * * * * * * * * *

Fantabulous news of the week: I FOUND MY THIRTY-ONE INSULATED LUNCH BAG! I have whined about the loss of this bag for two years.

Our preschool year winds down with a graduation ceremony for our pre-kindergarten classes. Two years ago, on the night of graduation, I received a Thirty-One insulated lunch bag, embroidered with my name, as an end of year gift from one of my students. I took it home with me the next day after closing down my classroom for the summer and put it, along with the other gifts I received, on the dining room table.

Two days later was the tornado. Within a few days, our house began to fill up with salvaged items belonging to friends and from the dance studio, and pretty much every available surface was covered with damaged photographs that were in the process of drying out. Over the course of the summer, items were returned to their owners , and eventually, the house was back to normal (except the basement - still have some tornado stuff down there, and it STILL smells like tornado, for those of  you who know that smell). 

Soon enough, it was time to get my classroom set up for the new school year. As I was packing a lunch to take with me and was pulling out a crappy old bag that I got at Walmart years earlier, I remembered my beautiful new lunch bag. Looked in the back of the cabinet where I kept the crappy lunch bag, but no new one. I opened and closed all the cabinets. No lunch bag. Checked the pantry. Checked the back closet. Gave up for the time being.

I continued to hunt for the lunch bag over the course of the next two years. Poked around the basement. Checked every closet. Bemoaned that it was lost forever with my preschool sidekick Melissa. The only thing I could figure was that I had accidentally thrown it away. 

Then today, as I was trying to get a plastic lid for the jellyroll pan out of the cabinet above the refrigerator, I created an avalanche of seldom-used stuff that I keep up there, such as ice cube trays and melamine serving plates. 

And there it was, behind the plates, MY THIRTY-ONE BAG!

Lunches shall taste SO MUCH BETTER from now on.


  1. I came home to a bat in my apartment once...opened the front door and FLAPFLAPFLAPFLAP SCREEEEEAAAAAAMMMMMM.

    It's a funny story. But it most definitely was not amusing at the time.

  2. Love bats. Don't be a wimp - they're awesome - they got radar and allsorts so they don't end up in your hair.

    Didn't know you were a preschool teacher - that's awesome :D (still glad I've left it behind - it came for a sudden, unexpected attack this morning though!)

    Chocolate cake sounds awesome, but the bag re-find is awesome-er :) Congrats

    1. If you only knew how CRAZY it made me to lose that bag!

      I will mail you the next bat I find in the building.

    2. I believe it! Two years is forever!

      Looking forward to receiving one bat.

  3. I'm TERRIFIED of bats. I used to work in an office building that had been converted from an old mill, and every few months, a bat showed up. There was one flying around in there one day while I was pregnant, and people acted like I was the crazy one for freaking out! Pardon me if I don't want rabies and a miscarriage.

    1. You obviously worked with people who had never birthed no babies before. YOUR BABY COULD HAVE BEEN MARKED! :)

      I worked in an office that was being retrofitted from the Northridge earthquake WHILE WE CONTINUED TO WORK IN IT. I was pregnant and convinced something horrific was going to happen to my baby from me being around the dust and fumes and probably asbestos, but NO ONE CARED. Fortunately, he turned out reasonably okay.

  4. Hmm, I don't subscribe to the whole "they eat mosquitoes" excuse for liking bats either! I agree that most, if having a bat coming at them (or tangling in their hair) would quickly sing a different tune.

    I really want to know what the tornado smell is >.> should they make it into a cologne, or would it have an adverse affect with women?

    Glad you found your bag!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

    1. Bats that have been swept into a bucket flap their wings, bare their sharp little fangs and HISS. Spawn of Satan.

      The tornado smell is not describable. But once you've smelled it, you'll never forget it. If it attracted anything, I'd say it would be scam artists, so I don't think it should be bottled in any way.

      I'M SO GLAD I FOUND THAT STUPID BAG! I really thought it must be some early sign of Alzheimer's that it was gone and couldn't be found.

  5. Ohmahgawd... thanks.... now all I can think about is that d*mn delicious sounding chocolate cake... and bats.

    1. I hope they are mutually exclusive. I wouldn't want them both to be in the same thought.

      Make the cake. Baby would like it.