A redemptive faux pas kind of day

I have decided I must redeem some part of this day…first it was my husband walking in the house, in the wee hours this morning, having been to survey the rain saturated garden before leaving for work. In his hand he carried a green club. “Oh my gosh, how in the world?!” I had scoured those plants the day prior. It was a zucchini—a huge zucchini—like the zucchini that ate Manhattan kind of zucchini.


He just shook his head. “I’m telling you I went over every inch of that garden, I have no idea where that one was hiding!!” He just shakes his head with that annoying little grin like “sure you did” kind of grin–which annoys the crap out of me…..”shirking on the job are we?”, he asks as he makes for his coffee and keys….ugghhh….

Of course he thinks it funny but I’m actually annoyed with myself. The excessive rains this summer are making for a poor poor crop—vegetables bursting before ripening due to all the water, plus you need a little sun to make things ripen and blooms to open before just rotting off the vine…so any little veggie I can pluck before it gets ruined is pretty precious. How I managed to let a zucchini get past me long enough to mature into a small mallet is beyond my soul.

I call them zucchini clubs and there is just one thing they are good for—not unless you have some cows who don’t mind being hand feed a nice tasty green club every once in a while…..our neighbor a couple of years ago kept some cows in the pasture behind our house. On the evenings I’d be out working in the garden, the cows would amble over to the fence and if I found the baseball bat zucchinis, especially if we’d been out of town for a few day with the garden getting ahead of us, I’d hold out the zucchini and they’d eat it all gone 🙂

A Chocolate Zucchini cake—that’s the answer!

Now that won’t fix my stupidity this morning for accidentally clicking the “like” button on my own post—who does that?? So Julie seems to like Julie’s post—hummmmm… No, not exactly but how do I take that back…one of those computer savvy questions no doubt. Then there was the conversation with Joanne who I referred to as Katherine—the name of her post….I know she is Joanne, and yet…my feeble brain jumps to the blog name instead—what’s up with that brain??

I blame it on the rain—I’ve had a sinus headache for the past two days—the kind that Motrin or Advil does not touch. So I wisely decided that before going to bed last night I would take half a pain pill (a whole one is just too potent) to make my head and sinuses stop hurting. Makes sense, right? These little goodies are left over from my husband’s oral surgery on a tooth…..
Maybe I was a little groggy this morning….

Anywhooooo, here is what I am offering in the way of redemption for all of you out there—those who think cookie suddenly got a little full of herself, for Joanne who thinks I’m turning into my dad, and to my husband who thinks I am no candidate for master gardener…….please find the recipe below…..

Chocolate-Zucchini Cake

2 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Tablespoons Coca (Hersey’s special dark for a really rich chocolaty taste)
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups flour
1 package of Instant vanilla pudding mix (I use the 3.4 oz. box)
2 cups finely grated zucchini (grate into a dishtowel and ring out the excess moisture)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (or whatever kind and type you have on hand, even white chocolate is nice)
Optional ½ to 1 cup nuts—I don’t do the nuts, as I’m not a fan of nuts in sweets….

Cream together the first 5 ingredients. Sift together the next 5 ingredients—then add to the creamed ingredients. Add pudding and zucchini, mixing well. Pour into a greased and floured (Baker’s Joy spray) 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle chips and nuts on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 325° for 40-45 minutes—until a toothpick come out clean.

Serves 14-16
Perfectly easy

here it is in the pan before heading into the oven

and here it is…missing a piece…how did that happen 😉


Please make this and enjoy my faux pas apology!!! Add a little ice cream if you think I’ve been really stupid 🙂

Inner Peace Award


A very lovely thing happened to me today…Steven Fox, a delightful young man from the UK, contacted me letting me know that he’s nominated me for two thoughtful blogging awards–the Inner Peace Award and the Sunshine Award. Steven has a great blog himself as he is blossoming into quite a young writer…..http://sfoxwriting.wordpress.com I highly recommend a visit to check out his work, as he even has a book now published—I think the dream of so many of us blogging.

If you’ve ever read any of my posts regarding awards–be it the Inspirational blogger award that I was awarded by Jolandi Stevens at http://dreaminginarabic.wordpress.com
or even professionally when I was awarded the Teacher of the Year award for my school system… I never feel very deserving. All because I know there are so many more talented folks out there…folks I look up to, admire and yield to for my own motivation and inspiration.

Blogs of more merit than my own such as Emma’s, in Queensland, whose blog is based and maintained solely on the memory of a dear friend who passed away not long ago and for his love of history and trivia—it is a blog which offers worldly historical information and tidbits, one I enjoy viewing each day in order to get my historical fix: http://addyourpieceofhistory.wordpress.com
Emma was equally as kindhearted and most generous when she nominated me for the Shine On Award–that was a couple of weeks back while we were out of town on holiday and unfortunately I’ve yet to fulfill the requirements for that one…. which certainly should not be taken as a lack of deep appreciation–again thank you Emma!!

I’ll be the first to tell you that those who know me may raise an eyebrow when they see the phrase Inner Peace and Julie associated together. But it is for this type of award that I am most honored because I think the ability to project such a beautiful attribute is truly gratifying. I’ve never been known to be too much “at peace” within. I’ve spent much of my life fretting and worrying. I want to be the positive one, the optimist, the glass is half full girl—Ottimista verses Pessimista, as my Italians friends will say….but sadly, within, I do worry.

I think this goes back to losing my mom to cancer. She was young, I was younger…it was all within 6 weeks..all from diagnosis to the end. My dad and I had barely processed what was going on when she was gone. From that moment, I can’t seem to help it, but I now tend to think the worst. Not for others, I always hope and put forward the best for other people and their life situations and truly believe that the best can and will prevail. It is, however, for me and my world that I tend to lean to the Eeyore (you know Eeyore, the little gray donkey from Winnie the Pooh) mentality of my dad….”oh no, we’ll (I’ll) never make it”…..

I fear. I fear losing those I cherish, I fear being too happy because that means tragedy can’t be far behind. I fear feeling good because feeling bad is on it’s way…it goes on and on….crazy I know. It doesn’t help my son being an only child and the sole focus of his mother’s (and dad’s too) worry.

I am a Christian. To be such means I trust in my God and Savior. There is to be no fear, no worry—He is to take my fear and my worry…as He took all of that with Him that day on the cross…as that was a day ushering in eternal Victory. I continue working on this with Him, truly I do —if anyone has had to bear this messy angst of mine, it has been Him—He is patient and kind and has yet to walk away from me….thank goodness….so maybe as I age, I may see an inkling of that “peace” slowly creeping into my being, taking over those screaming corners and areas of dread, gloom and doom….doing so quietly and, aptly, peacefully, as so it should be…….

So it is with great humility that I share this award with those of you who take time to read my blog.

Inner Peace is a desired goal of mine as it is THE desired goal for this quite un-peaceful world of ours.
Here is my prayer for inner peace for us all………..
Thank you Steven………

“Peace begins with a smile..”
Mother Teresa

Part of this award it that I am to share it with another……

I wish to share this with a friend who has actually two blogs. It is for her second blog that I wish to offer her this award of Inner Peace. If you visit her blog you will immediately understand. Her’s is a blog that deals with the incapacitating battle with and against depression. She has lived her blog and it is now her desire to pay it forward if you will– as she does so daily…encouraging others to hang in there, move forward slowly–one step at a time, one day at a time..always with the hope of joy and peace in sight…here is to you nonfatlatte, my friend Elizabeth…the voice of support, kindness, compassion, empathy—a true life coach who isn’t walking away even when things get tough…..