Postcards

Postcard #32 “The Five Essential Key Secrets for Success in the First Grade”

Posted on September 16, 2012. Filed under: Postcards | Tags: , , , |

Thirty-nine days into the first grade I feel that I better understand “The Five Essential Key Secrets for Success in the First Grade” (I’m so trade marking that!). To even take this new understanding further, I believe my “TFEKSFSITFG” are relevant for life outside of the classroom.

We read about how Saguaro cactus grow and change- so we did an art project and wrote about what we learned. Informational writing was never so much fun!

Secret #1: Do things in small but purposeful chunks.  Five and six year olds need short and easy directions. I’ve learned that if I give too many or long-winded directions things can get out of control very quickly (insert your worst case scenario here). This sounds so self-helpish but short, easy steps really do add up to success. This doesn’t mean that you get out of having to do things that are hard, you do, you just break whatever you have to do into easy breezy Parcheesi steps and before you know it, you’re done!

Secret #2: It’s okay to take a moment or twelve of them. It helps me to relax, to not freak out- whatever. I especially like taking a moment with my head on my desk (I’m usually banging my head, but that’s okay). This really works with first graders- it mellows them out (no banging heads for them) and gives me a chance to find that stupid math book I put down. Turning out the lights works well too.

Secret #3: Have a sense of humor and remember to laugh at yourself… a lot.

Secret #4: Be organized- but don’t spend your entire weekend doing it. I know knowing where things are  makes life so much easier but don’t sacrifice fun. And no, hanging stuff up on bulletin boards is not fun, even if you tell yourself that it is. Maybe if you combine the hanging with a cocktail… but you might fall off the ladder and that’s definitely not fun.

Secret #5: Have a really good stapler, pencil sharpener, bra, whatever… If it makes your job easier, buy it, use it and for heaven’s sake, get on with it.

So there you go…I’ve showed you mine, now you show me yours… What are your secrets to success, happiness or whatever in your job and/or everyday life?

calendar

A huge part of 1st grade is learning the names of the months and days of the week. There are songs which teach both, ask me nicely and I’ll sing them for you!

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Postcard #31 “Frankencookies”

Posted on June 1, 2012. Filed under: Postcards, recipes | Tags: , , |

I am lazy and didn’t bother dipping the cookies into the white frosting- oh well…

Happy chickens make happy eggs

WARNING! If you’re looking for an easy, straight-forward cookie recipe, you’re not in the right place. Doodle on down to the grocery store, pick up a bag of cookie mix and in a reasonably short amount of time, you’ll have a plate of delicious cookies.

But if you want a cookie recipe which takes 2 days to make, involves numerous trips to the grocery store and after all that still doesn’t taste like you thought it would, this 52 Postcards blog is for you! The recipe is for Black and White Cookies, but I think they should be called “Frankencookies”!

The recipe calls for:

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature- the recipe I used called for 3 sticks of butter- I thought what the hell, why not?
4 large eggs- I get my eggs from the Reno Homebrewer- they get their eggs from Carson Valley, Nevada- happy chickens make happy eggs. They are always super nice to me because I think that not a lot of women shop there. I like feeling like a queen when I buy my eggs.
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour- 42 years old and I had never used cake flour- it may be another 42 years before I use it again (special trip to the grocery store)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour- more flour? I spilled a bunch and Lily tried to lick it off the floor- kind of gross
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

The rest is for the demonic frosting:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar- like snow in your kitchen
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
3 ounces very bitter or unsweetened chocolate- I ended up using Ghiradelli chocolate and ate the leftovers a couple of days later
1 teaspoon light corn syrup.
1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (optional)- did not use it, but really thought about it

THE NEXT STEPS:

Crack the eggs, cream them together with the 19 sticks of butter, add the sugar and mix, mix and mix some more. Add the extracts and the milk and mix some more. Sift together the dry ingredients and gently add to your egg-sugar-milk mixture. Stir for about 12 years and eventually you will get some kind of dough-like mixture in your bowl.

Since you’re organized, you will have already preheated your oven to 375 degrees, put some parchment paper down on the baking sheets and scoop some dough out (one recipe I found suggests you use an ice cream scoop) and bake those little gut bombs for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool. They will be puffy and the raw dough tastes better than the finished cookie.

After all the cookies are done, mix together the final 5 ingredients in a double boiler until it is a gooey mess of chocolate and dip those cookies into the mixture. I know these are supposed to be black and white cookies, but I lost interest and only dipped them in chocolate- I have a short attention span.

Let them cool and take them to work (leaving them in the break room before anyone else arrives) where people will eat them for you.

If you would like the real recipe, go to http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/black-and-white-cookies/ where you will find better and more detailed instructions.

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Postcard #31 “Favorite Photographs from Many Sundays”

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: Dogs, Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Buttery smooth and so so sweet!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the past few Sundays- enjoy!

A worm from the Hulett-Reynolds Free Range Worm Farm and Boston Terrier Project

Just looking at this picture makes me hungry for some sugary goodness!

Emmie, John and Lillian

Next time you're in SF go to Q (on Clement Street) and have an omelette of your own!

Lucille at the beach

Postcards for #31

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