Fly on the Wall – August

Fly on the Wall

Every month a group of bloggers post what a fly would have seen and heard if it had been on a wall in their household. Little snippets of life that don’t add up to a blog, but may be worth tattling about. After you’ve read my post, please click on the links at the bottom and check out the others. fly1gifcropped

Do you wonder, little fly, why you’re still there on my wall? It’s because I can’t reach you and my husband can’t hear your constant buzzing. It’s no secret that he doesn’t hear well. We have the $7,000 hearing aids in a box in the bedroom as proof. He often doesn’t hear me when I talk to him (surprise, surprise) and then randomly thinks he hears me when I haven’t said a word.

Him, bellowing from the kitchen: “I can’t hear you!”
Me, from bedroom: “I didn’t say anything!”
Him, from kitchen: “Okay, that’s why.”

It’s a good thing he can’t hear eye-rolls.fly1gifcropped

Each summer I wait anxiously for huckleberry season. Those beautiful purple berries are featured prominently in my baked goods (yeah, yeah, and margaritas) throughout the year, and a good huckleberry year is cause for celebration. This was a GREAT year for huckleberries, but unfortunately my participation in it ended on our first outing when I sprained my ankle. My hero husband, however, went back out three times and brought home fifteen pounds of berries, which helped to ease the pain a bit.


Picture this: I feel and hear my ankle snap at the same time as the stick I stepped on snapped. Not a good sound. This ankle has been sprained several times, so I’m not new to the sensation, but this one really, really hurt! AND, to add insult to injury, I lost almost my whole bucket of berries. Any lurking bears got an earful. By the time it numbed up a bit and I could breathe again, my husband and our two friends helped me with the long hop back to the vehicle. I absolutely couldn’t make it any farther and dramatically flopped on the hood of the car. Then…then…popped my head up and demanded that my husband take a picture of me for Fly on the Wall.

Is that dedication to you guys or what?  He took one look at me and said he didn’t think it was a good idea, but I insisted. When I got home from the ER and looked at the photos, I realized that he was rrrr  rriiii right. (Please don’t tell him I said that!) I love you all dearly, and was willing to put a photo out there of my filthy, red-faced, ponytailed self, but these were heinous and you are NOT going to see them. Just use your imaginations if you must. Trust me, even the bears would have turned up their noses at the sight.fly1gifcropped

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The Man really stepped up to the plate—not only with his ability to make gourmet meals, but with his artistic flair in the presentation of the food. Salads had perfect slices of tomato arranged around the edge and cucumber slices that looked like flowers. He toasted pecans and grated fresh Parmesan cheese. He sliced chicken breast and fanned it on the plate. He created a green bean dish that would make you cry happy tears.

He’s pretty much screwed, because I now know what he’s capable of. (And that, my friends, is the reason I have never learned to use the lawn mower, snow plow, or weed-eater.)

Chef's salad supreme!

Chef’s salad supreme!

Weeks of cooking, doing dishes, and general fetching and carrying has taken its toll, however, because the other day he was complaining:

Him: “I feel like I started cooking two weeks ago and haven’t stopped!”
Me (smugly): “Welcome to my world”
Him: “No, thank you!”

Ah. Validation.fly1gifcropped

I knew I was pushing my luck, but I had this recipe developing in my brain (you have to do something when you’re lying on the couch all day being waited on) for huckleberry cookies and was desperate to see if it worked. It took four days, but I finally coaxed him into baking them for me. I printed up the recipe with lots of special notes on how to smash bananas, where to find the brown sugar, which kind of oatmeal to use…that kind of thing. I even got the crutches and went in the kitchen to help him, but was accused of micro-managing, so back to the couch I went.

The cookies smelled good. Really good! They looked perfect. Then I bit into one. Salty. Worried that I’d misjudged, I asked if he was sure he’d only used a half teaspoon and he assured me he had. Then he went and got the spoon. The half tablespoon. So…triple the salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Yikes! Still edible, but not blog-able.

Banana Blueberry Cookies

Banana Blueberry Cookies

Since I can put weight on my foot now with one crutch, I tried making them again yesterday (using blueberries since most people don’t have access to mountain huckleberries) and they were much better without half the spice cabinet in them. Here’s the recipe.

Banana Blueberry Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Makes 42 cookies These make a wonderful breakfast when you're in a hurry!
  • 1 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (about 3) very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups quick rolled oats
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. Lightly grease cookie sheets. (Or, since the blueberries tend to stick to the pan, you might want to use parchment paper.)
  3. Mix together coconut oil, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until creamy.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix together well.
  5. Add walnuts, coconut, bananas, oats, and chocolate chips. Mix together well.
  6. Fold in the berries.
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets, at least 1" apart. Bake for 12 minutes and cool on rack.


The same mild winter and cool spring that gave us a good year for berries gave us a VERY bad year for yellow jackets. I mean, ghastly. Here is a photo of a pile-o’-bees that were dumped out of three bee traps. One year I counted the yellow jackets in a full trap and it was over 1,000, so you’re looking at a minimum of 3,000 nasty, mean, relentless wasps, with a few bald-faced hornets mixed in. In case you’re wondering, bald-faced hornets have the temperament of yellow jackets on steroids and will chase you down until you reach the safety of a building. They must die.

Eeeuw. Have some wasps!

Eeeuw. Have some wasps!

Right after this picture was taken, fresh traps were hung and by that afternoon the traps were almost half full again. It is making a dent, though, and hopefully we’ll be out of lockdown soon. Right now we (and the dogs and chickens) are only able to go outside early in the morning or after the sun sets. I will always remember this summer as the “Reign of Terror”.miscaugust 031fly1gifcropped

I’m pretty sure I’m older than 90% of the foodie bloggers out there, so you’ll have to try to imagine the angst that goes into the prospect of a 40th high school reunion. My last minute weight loss hopes were dashed by two inactive weeks on the couch with my own professional chef who was discovering the joys of cooking. Damn. So the focus was on clothes.

Three events were planned: a Friday “casual night” at the local tavern, a Saturday “evening casual” dinner event, and a Sunday picnic in the park for my elementary school.

Casual night. Hmmmm. I think we’re the first generation to be heading into our 60s wearing jeans―no polyester pants for us! I’m pretty sure my overalls wouldn’t be appropriate, though. So…jeans and a comfy top. Easy. But on crutches, shoes were the problem. I’m vertically challenged, so I like to wear heels. The dog has systematically chewed up most of my flat shoe options, so I had the choice between wearing the checkered tennis shoes that don’t go with the patterned top, (though this meant I could use just one crutch), or the sandals with a nice wedgy heel that I wouldn’t topple off of unless I really hit the wine hard (with both crutches for support).  I guess you know which one I chose.

Hmmm. Which would YOU choose?

Hmmm. Which would YOU choose?

Evening casual. What the hell is that??? A cocktail dress? (chubby knees, not happening) Did you know that there are almost no dresses out there for evening casual that aren’t sleeveless? (flabby arms, not happening) or form-fitting? (Where did my waist go? Not happening.) This was getting grim. I ordered a dress I liked but it needed heels, otherwise I looked like I was heading to church. Crap…back it went. Remember, the only store in our area is WalMart (SO not happening) and I was stuck on the couch, so a trip to the nearest city was out of the question. Time was running out and I was at the mercy of Amazon.

I ordered a fun skirt with sequins, which wasn’t as tacky as it sounds. After consulting with my fashion expert/daughter, it was determined that this skirt needed a green top. Not just any green…kind of a deep blue green. Two blouses were ordered. Neither one matched. I settled for a red and white dress, but then had the shoe conundrum again. Rush shipping delivered red shoes with crutch-friendly heels the day before I left. Just for the record, I’m wondering―who is the genius that said women aren’t allowed to wear pantyhose anymore? Pffft.

The picnic would be a slam-dunk, thank goodness. Tee shirt and jeans.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s hair, nails, and all those girly things that a much-abused husband will NOT shop for. (Bye-bye, push-up bra…definitely not happening.) There was also my lovely green and brown ankle that wouldn’t go with anything except a camo outfit from Cabelas. Green, brown and swollen. At 58 (and yes, I’m sure you’ve already done the math and this is not a big surprise) the only thing on my body that was TRIM was my ankles. Sigh.

So much was not happening. I won’t even go into my various attempts to give myself a French manicure. I garden, play guitar, and wash loads and loads of dishes every day. My nails were a mess. To do something about it I would have needed to have a steady hand and two eyes that focused at approximately the same distance. I settled for making sure they were clean. Meh.

But in the end, the whole thing was a riot! I didn’t notice if shoes matched dresses, if nails were done, and Lord knows I didn’t notice if push-up bras were worn. As a matter of fact, if it hadn’t been for pictures I couldn’t tell you what anyone wore. These people were friendly and fun; the rest just didn’t matter. It really, truly didn’t. It wasn’t high school, wasn’t about fitting in, and most of us had grown up and realized that it was friendship and memories that were important.

Well…except for the guy that commented to me that he liked the name tags because that meant he could stare at women’s boobs without getting in trouble. I guess there’s always one that’s lost in the 70s.reunion croppedfly1gifcropped

I’ve noticed you’re sort of buzzing in weak circles. Either you’re past your prime or my high drama is exhausting you! Why don’t you go check out these other blogs. If you’re still around, I’ll see you next month.

Baking In a Tornado
Stacy Sews and Schools
Just a Little Nutty
Menopausal Mother
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
The Momisodes
Follow Me Home
Moore Organized Mayhem
Hypnotic Bard
Spatulas on Parade
Sorry Kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others
Dates 2 Diapers
Trashy Blog
Barbara & 1923

Angelberry Cake

miscmay2013 093One of the simplest and most delightful cakes to make from scratch is an angel food cake. It doesn’t have the bitter tang of a boxed angel food cake mix, and can be gussied up with an endless variety of flavors and additions. As long as the additions are relatively dry and in moderate quantities, the sky’s the limit. I’ve used chopped cherries, shaved chocolate, lemon, and lavender so far with great results.

You don’t even need a tube pan; the batter works wonderfully in lined cupcake tins or even bread pans. For a beautiful presentation, however, nothing beats an angel food cake with the hole in the center filled with fluffy whipped cream. During the holidays of my youth, the whipped cream was flavored with crushed candy canes and marshmallows – a light, festive treat.

I was afraid that juicy huckleberries would weigh down the batter and keep it from rising well, but was pleasantly surprised to find that they didn’t affect the loft at all…just added an amazing pop of flavor and color. How could anyone resist a slice of huckleberry heaven? Of course you could use blueberries instead, but there’s just nothing like the flavor of a ripe mountain huckleberry. Take your chances with the bears, bees, mosquitoes, and fallen logs, and hit the hills for this precious bounty.


1 cup sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (important to use superfine)
1 1/3 cups egg whites (11 or 12 eggs), room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond or lemon extract, if desired
1 cup huckleberries (or small blueberries) – divided

Heat the oven to 325F.
Prepare a tube pan by cutting a circle of parchment the size of the bottom of the pan and cutting a round hole in the middle so that it will fit over the tube. Do not grease or flour the parchment.

In a small bowl, sift flour 3 times with ½ cup of the sugar.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle the salt and cream of tartar over eggs and beat until they hold soft peaks.

Add the rest of the sugar, ¼ cup at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in flavored extracts.

Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and place in a small bowl with 3/4 cup of the berries (the remaining 1/4 cup will be used later for the glaze.) Toss the berries in the flour and set aside.

Add the flour and sugar mixture ½ cup at a time, folding gently after each addition. Add the berry and flour mixture last and very carefully fold into the batter to keep from deflating the precious air bubbles.

Put batter into the prepared tube pan and bake approximately an hour at 325 degrees, until deep golden brown on top. Turn pan upside down on rack. When cool, lift pan. If cake doesn’t come out, slide a knife around the outside to release it.

Note: You can also bake the batter in cupcake pans with liners, or in two loaf pans with a piece of parchment paper in the bottoms only. Don’t grease the pans! Cool the loaf pans upside down so the cakes don’t deflate. You may have to get creative—balance them between two pans or even coffee mugs.


1/4 cup huckleberries
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon powdered egg whites (optional..this just makes the glaze dry firmer and faster)
powdered sugar

In a small pan on low heat, combine 1/4 cup huckleberries and 1 tablespoon of water. Heat on low for approximately 10-15 minutes to soften the berries and release the juice. Stir in the lemon juice and salt.

Combine 1 cup of powdered sugar with the powdered egg whites and gradually whisk into the berry mixture. At this point, depending on how juicy your berries are, you can adjust the glaze by adding more water or more powdered sugar to achieve a pouring consistency. Drizzle over thoroughly cooled cake.

Since I can never resist “gilding the lily”, I like to fill the center with fresh whipped cream with a few berries on the top. Dig in!

"The Guys" going huckleberry picking!

“The Guys” going huckleberry picking!