Sunday, June 28, 2015

Delicious Without Eggs

My most recent trip to the grocery store caused me to question whether or not I should continue to purchase eggs. At almost four dollars a dozen I’m thinking maybe I need to cook and bake without them.

Hunting through my old recipes, I came up with several desserts that do not use eggs. As my way of being helpful to budget-wise cooks out there, though not helpful at all to egg farmers, I will be sharing some of these recipes with my readers.

We are heading to Michigan (one of my favorite places) this week for a two-week vacation. While we are gone, no-egg dessert recipes will appear on this blog. These are recipes our family has enjoyed for many years.

The recipe below for applesauce cake is exhibit one in defense of deliciousness without eggs. It is always a crowd pleaser.

Applesauce Cake
From the kitchen of Verla Powers

    2 c. brown sugar                          
    1 c. butter                             
    2 c. applesauce                                                            
    1 c. raisins                                                       
    1 c. nuts  
    2 1/2 c. flour  
    1 tsp. each: baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg 
    1/4 tsp. salt                                                      

Cream butter and sugar together. Add applesauce, raisins, and nuts. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together. Add to mixture. Gradually beat after each addition. Pour into a greased and floured 9" x 13" pan. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.


~Image from cakechooser



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Left Behind


The hole in my heart has always been there. It was there when I silently screamed for the approval of my parents. It was there when I scorned teachers who believed in my abilities. It was there when I reached out for friendship while hiding behind a wall of isolation. It was there when I lay by a little gray stone and cried, “Why not me?” And it was there the day my dream of making a difference, being significant, was torn to shreds. That was the day my bloodied body was lifted by strong arms, placed on broad shoulders, and carried through a steaming South-East Asia jungle. I heard the “wop, wop, wop” of helicopter blades and then everything turned black.

Trained to do battle; trained to leave no man behind. I am a Marine and I am the man who should have been left behind. The pain of recovery pales in light of the emptiness caused by the hole in my heart. A military decoration does nothing to fill the void.

My family attempted to embrace me but I rejected them for the streets, another battlefield. Loneliness, cold, and fear are now dulled by drink, but the hole in my heart remains.

Last night our encampment was raided. A police officer took my possessions and chased me from my home under the bridge. His eyes looked sad. He said he was sorry. “Orders,” he said. I understand. I’m a Marine.

Now I sit in a park where hundreds pass but no one sees. My makeshift tent is gone. My birth certificate is gone. My brother's picture is gone. My discharge papers are gone. My purple heart is gone. My warm coat and gloves are gone. Shadows of towering buildings remind me of the darkness of a city that has turned its back. This country, my country that I pledged to serve and defend, seems blind to my existence. Am I a son? Am I a brother? Am I a Marine? Am I the one left behind?

~ Artwork by Big Bro who blogs over at String Too Short to Tie.


(The inspiration for this story came from pictures my brother drew and sent to me. His challenge for me was to write a story to go with them.)



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rule Breaker

Generally, I’ve been known as one who stresses over and keeps rules. However, I’m guessing that my neighbors now characterize me as a rule breaker.

I’ve posted previously about the scarcity of beauty in our area and a condominium rule that forbids planting anything in the ground. Until Mother's Day I had been quite content with three large pots of beautiful flowers, but this was the day I decided to ignore the rule. So I dug a big hole in the ground and planted a beautiful hibiscus plant (a Mother’s Day gift from son, Dale, and his wife, Kayce.)

Am I repentant? Not yet. But I may become very annoyed if our landscapers notice the infraction and pull it up. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying its beauty.


This plant has three colors of blooms: pink, orange and yellow. The yellow was not blooming when I took the picture this week. (The plant is located by our front steps and hidden somewhat from the street behind the association’s rosebush. Quite clever - no?)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Epic Fail?

I’m not really sure what is considered to be an epic, but I sometimes wonder if lack of planning might be the cause.

Ceremonial activities are stressful regardless of whether they are happy or sad events. I can’t even count the number times that at well-planned formal weddings I’ve heard the celebrant say the opposite of what was written for the ceremony. Snickers, giggles, squirming, and red faces were the result. Not an epic fail.

Funerals seem to involve less planning and they often have no clear leader. The funeral director is in charge, at least to a degree. An officiant (minister, priest, or even a master of ceremonies) is – or desires to be – the on-site authority. As a result, things can become really messed up before someone takes responsibility for what is happening.

Sitting in a funeral chapel back in the day before canned music, I was listening to the organ pre-service music. When I know tunes, I tend to sing the words to myself. Following several hymns including, “In The Garden,” I realized I was singing these words, “When you come to the end of a perfect day and you sit alone with your thoughts.”

What? Suddenly I was alert and no longer just waiting for the service to begin. The organist continued to play merrily along. Of course, I couldn’t stop the flow of words in my head while at the same time hoping someone in her family had not requested the number.

“When you come to the end of a perfect day
And you sit alone with your thoughts,
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay
For the joy that the day has brought.
Do you think what the end of a perfect day
Can mean to a tired heart,
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray
And the dear friends have to part? “
            Carrie Jacobs-Bond, 1909)

Many years later, now in the era of canned music, I again sat while waiting for a service honoring a young mother to begin. Apparently her favorite music genre was Country and multiple selections were played over the speaker system. Since I like country music and know many of the songs, I was again singing along in my head. Suddenly my body stiffened as I heard the first line of a new song, “In a bar in Toledo across from the depot on a bar stool she took off her ring.” I knew what was coming. I willed someone to cut the music but Kenny Rogers voice continued:

In a bar in Toledo across from the depot
On a bar stool she took off her ring.
I thought I'd get closer so I walked on over
I sat down and asked her name
When the drinks finally hit her
She said I'm no quitter but I finally quit livin’ on dreams.
I'm hungry for laughter and here ever after
I'm after whatever the other life brings.

In the mirror I saw him and I closely watched him
I thought how he looked out of place.
He came to the woman who sat there be-side me
He had a strange look on his face.
The big hands were calloused he looked like a mountain
For a minute I thought I was dead.
But he started shaking his big heart was breaking
He turned to the woman and said.

You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field . . .”  Click! Mercifully, the song stopped.
     ~Songwriters, Roger Bowling & Hal Bynum

Maybe an epic fail?


~ Clipart – Music-staff & Pandora