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Wacky Cake (aka Depression Cake)

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, May 31, 2009 0 comments

During the depression, desserts were hard to come by. Neighbors would get together, each one bringing an ingredient to make one cake. It was almost a social event. The Wacky Cake was popular because it did not have any dairy products like milk or eggs, both being rationed items. This cake can be mixed in the pan it is to be baked in. First preheat oven 350 degrees.

Sift into an ungreased 9x13 pan:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
¾ cup cooking oil
2 cups cold water
1 tsp vanilla
Then add:
2 tbsp vinegar
3 tsp baking soda

Mix with a fork, do not overbeat, it may have a few small lumps and batter will be on the thin side.

This cake is very moist. Frosting is not even necessary. For decoration, wait till it has cooled and shift powdered sugar on top. You also have the option to make cupcakes or mini cupcakes. One batch will make about 70 mini cupcakes. The kids will love the small pop in the mouth size.

What’s in a Name?

Posted by Granny1952 0 comments

When you name your baby, have you thought about the effect it has on your child? What happens when you call your child by their middle name instead of their first name? Have you looked at the initials he/she would have?

In today’s computer world, it makes a lot of difference on which name you go by. For example, you can go by your middle name. But schools, doctors, certificates, transcripts, diplomas and legal documents all will be in the birth record first name. Also in the school annuals, will their friends be able to find them when the first name is used instead of the known by, middle name. That was not always the case.

Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President, went by his middle name. In fact, his birth record name is: Hiram Ulysses Grant. Where did the “S” come from? When he was registered at West Point Academy, he was incorrectly registered as Ulysses Simpson Grant. Simpson was his mother’s maiden name. Since Ulysses did not like his initials from his legal birth name, (HUG) he chose not to make the correction and left it as it was. Thereafter he was known as Ulysses S Grant.

Today he would have had to go to court and get permission to make the change. First you get the paperwork filed, pay the court fees and get on the docket to see the judge. Then show up on the scheduled date and time. Get “permission” from the judge. Afterwards you will need certified copies for many areas in your life. The banks, social security, schools, employers, driver’s license, doctors, dentists, to name a few, would all need certified copies to update their records and make the necessary changes. All Ulysses S Grant had to do is not correct an error in registration!

Times have changed. So, as you name your child, why not put on the birth certificate what you’re really going to call him/her?

Walking To Stay Fit

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, May 29, 2009 0 comments

It sounds so easy but many of us don’t take the time to just take a walk. The weather is too hot, too windy, to cold. We have so many excuses to not take a walk around the neighborhood.

Walking is easy on the joints and helps the body in many ways such as:
Getting Vitamin D from the sun
Increase blood circulation
Cardiovascular health (heart)
Burn a few extra calories
Muscles being used which helps increase metabolism
Mental health is improved

One way to get your walk and make it more enjoyable is to make a walk date with a buddy. Use the buddy system to keep you on track. Another way is make a Goal List. What goal do you want for the week? How many miles do you want to walk?

Make it a family outing. Little ones can go into strollers. Make sure you take plenty of water to stay hydrated. If the sun is too bright, wear a hat to protect your eyes. Remember the sun screen. Even in the winter sun screen is recommended.

In the winter, there are many DVD’s for walking at home. Aerobic walking, walking for seniors, beginners, tots, teens. It can be done in the comfort of your own home. There are websites that offer free on line videos for walking.

Make a commitment to walk 10000 steps a day; that is roughly 5 miles. Park your car at the end of the parking lot and walk into the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You will be amazed at how many extra steps we can do a day by changing little things. Another good one is to hide the remote control to the TV. If you watch TV, you will have to get up, take a few steps to change the channel.

So what is your goal for today? How many steps can you do? We don’t have to be marathon runners or walkers to improve our bodies. Be creative. Make it a game. Enjoy life today.

School Concerts

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, May 28, 2009 0 comments

Concerts put on by the young Junior High age groups, are a simple enjoyment all can enjoy. Schools like to show to the family and community the result of hard practice and growth made throughout the year. In many communities, at the Junior High level, the concerts are free and open to anyone.

The instruments are cleaned, oiled, new reeds attached to make ready to play. The black and white concert cloths are brought out for wear. Boys pick out the ties, girls check their shoes.

Is the performance perfect? Not likely. But the talent that is drawn out by the music / band teacher is amazing. At first the kids are nervous. Then the music begins. As they sing or play their instruments, the confidence from their leadership steadies the students.

The audience recognizes the songs. Toes start tapping. The parents clap loudly at the end of each segment as cameras take pictures to capture the memory.

The performance is ended. Student and family unite. Congratulations are overheard. The trip home and the instruments and special concert cloths are put away. The children go to bed glad they are done. The next day, they go off to school to hear from their mentor what is being planned for the next concert. The expectations, the new songs, the practice begins again.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, May 22, 2009 0 comments

Every since I was a little girl, I have heard the importance of eating breakfast. It is labeled as the most important meal of the day. As it turns out, my Mother was correct.

What does breakfast do for you? Pretend your body is like your car. We gas up our cars, and add oil and water when needed. The same goes for our bodies. We need fuel in the morning to get the most miles out of our energy. Do you want to get 18 or 32 miles per unit of energy? Do you want that donut and cup of coffee to stall you along the highway, in need of a tow?

What is the best breakfast? My grandchildren think that Protein Shakes are the best way to start off the day. Eggs, pancakes, and oatmeal are a second choice. They are very creative with their shakes. Milk, protein powder, fruits, nuts or peanut butter and then the most important ingredient, chocolate syrup are blended together, and then a straw is added to complete the meal. Their recipes have titles like: Snickers on the Rocks, Butterfinger, and Peppermint Smoothie. Sometimes they even add a spoonful of instant pudding. Yes, they are very creative. But what is so important is that they start their engines with good fuel as they walk out the door and begin a day of activities.

So… what are you having tomorrow morning to start your engine?


Posted by Granny1952 Monday, May 18, 2009 1 comments

What plans do you have for this summer? Family Reunions...BBQ's....maybe Camping.
Summer has so many activity options for the extra daylight hours we have. People are smiling. We made it through one more winter followed by those spring showers.

Summer seems to be arriving slowly this year. But at long last, the weather has turned warm and sunny. Finally the garden can be planted without the worry of frost. Lawn mowers dusted off, weed eaters out for trimming the edges. It feels so good to look at the sunset, to be outside and sit on a lawn that is freshly mowed, sprinklers on for the kids to run through. That fresh smell all of it creates.

Schools are let out and the reunions begin. Camp sites fill up with tents and RVs. The air fills up with bar-b-qued hamburgers and hot dogs. Swim lessons, can't forget the swim lessons and the city pool opening.

Fourth of July arrives all to soon, marking the summer half way point. At least it seems like it is half way over. In reality there is 2 months left but the ads for school to begin again are just around the corner.

August, the heat isn't as glamorous any more. Kids are getting antsy for school to begin. Missing their friends they only see at school. Then the ads start and the rush to get them outfitted with everything from socks to pencils.

Last of the vacation time is spent. Work places are quieter due to everyone being gone. Then Labor Day arrives. Lawn mowers, weed eaters are put up, camping gear stored away, pools emptied and dried to be ready for the next summer.

Days are shorter and the feeling of wanting to cuddle around a fireplace has that same effect as the beginning of summer. Ah, we made it through another summer.

Plans for the winter holidays begin. The smiles, the air has a different jolly feeling. Swim suits are packed and the snow suits are hanging on the coat racks. The cycle starts again; and we wait, for the summer to arrive again.


Posted by Granny1952 Saturday, May 16, 2009 0 comments

It is that time of year again. Graduation! My granddaughter is graduating from high school this year. The memories it brings back. But times have changed. Graduation requirements have changed. Senior activities are more intense. Some changes have been good. Some changes aren't, the reasonings are hard to understand.

Her senior year has been packed with college preparation as well as finishing the course of what she started 13 years ago. In some areas of her life, she is a young adult. In others, she still has to have approval from me, her guardian.

Ceremonies have been in abundance this month of May. Sports awards, Night of Excellence for Drama and Music awards, Mother's Tea, Baucalaurete. They seem neverending.

Then the Senior Class trip, leave at 8 a.m. to return after 2 a.m. the next day, get a few hours of sleep then return to school for graduation practice, home for a few hours of sleep, then back to the graduation ceremony. Afterward receive hugs and tears from the family for a little bit, lastly back to the school to board the bus - off to the graduation party they have been planning all year long. By the time they return in the wee hours of the morning, they will be ready to crash, sleep and recoup from the month long of activies.

The following Monday will bring them into the reality of adulthood. Some will work the summer, get ready for college and enter into another school. Some will get married, go to work and take night classes or postpone any further formal education.

My granddaughter, well, she is pretty focused on what she wants. She will take a job for the summer, go to college, locally at first then on to a univerisity to get her degree majoring in English with a minor in Elementary Education.

What a difference 40 years make. Many in my class did not have such plans. Either we stayed and learned the family business, or got married and started families.
Like I said..... Some changes are good.... some aren't....


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