September 30

Did someone say Stromboli?

People go to the fair for many different reasons.

Some go for the rides.

Some go for the animals. This little filly was just the sweetest thing. The only other person in the horse barn thought we were kooks! He just didn’t appreciate how much I love horses.Just how gaga I am over the soft sweet noses, the smell of their sweat, the beauty of them running in a pasture…yeah! I’m a kook!

Some go for the arts and crafts

and quilts

did I mention that there were quilts there?


I go to the fair for one reason

and only one reason.

Greasy french fries, funnel cakes, deep fried snickers, and Stromboli.

Why do you go to the fair?


September 29

Because I just know that you all are about to crawl out of your own skin with curiosity about my life, I thought I would show you something that blesses my heart every Monday through Friday.

As you know the boy and I wog (I walk, he jogs) every weekday morning.  He laps me a couple of times, cause he jogs, and he is faster.

I stand at the center of this intersection and wait for him to get to the top of the hill.  Sometimes I am slow and he waits for me. Sometimes he is slow and I wait for him.

It is the top of that hill, by the way, that I take most of my sunrise pictures.

This one is taken from the top of that hill.

Aaaaanyway, we have this tradition…we wait for each other, wave our arms wildly to each

and if I should fail to wave to the boy, he becomes so melancholy that I have to promise to never forget to wave again, kiss his feet, and purchase him lots and lots of espresso.

It blesses my heart to know that I mean so very much to him, that if I don’t wave., he is truly crushed.

I love my boy!!!

September 28

It used to be funnel cakes, then it moved on to Italian Sausages, then to the fries. After they came out with deep fried Snickers….well, you just gotta understand….chocolate + batter + deep frying = one very happy Chocolatechic!!!

My Friday Burning Question is what is your favorite fair food?

September 27

The other day the boy and I were bored to tears. We fought over took turns with the camera.

I decided to do a montage of the many faces of the boy.

What? Are you kidding me? I’ve got things to do, places to go, people to see!!!

Come on, son, just a small smile?

There! That’s much better.

I’m done now mom. Please. put. the. camera. away!

He really just wanted his turn with the camera and I was being selfish motherly and suggested he go do those things, find those people, go to those places, if he wouldn’t let me photograph him! Or at least go make me another apple pie!

Do you have a front porch?

September 26

The boy is entering sour dough bread and  apple pie into our fair this year. This will be the 3rd year that he has entered food stuffs and I pray that this year he will win.

I  have the fortunate agony of taste testing all manner of apple pies so that he can choose the best one to enter. Don’t you all feel so very sorry for me?

His latest one is a recipe from King Arthur Flour . It is a fabulous recipe. Not nearly sweet enough for me, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, it is great!

One thing that I just have to say is that his crust is literally melt-in-your-mouth flaky! It is almost sinful.

How do you like your apple pie?  sweet? cinnamony? double crusted? with a crumb topping?  saucy? with ice cream?  a piece of cheese?  I must know!!!

September 25

Sunday we returned to our decorating class to decorate cupcakes.

Once we were there I realized that I had committed a grievous error. I had forgotten my camera. I am so ashamed of myself. So ashamed that I sat and sucked the icing out of all the tips and couplers. It wasn’t pretty.

When I got home, however, I took pictures of the lovelies that I decorated.

This is my clown. (we are going to pretend that I wasn’t lazy and didn’t want to put more icing in a bag to give him a base of icing to sit on)

This is the boy’s clown. He has an cloud of icing to sit on. His is better. I know it, and I am so ashamed. Pass the icing please.

They were just absolutely simple to make.

And so were these. We used these for the daughter’s birthday. She didn’t have any because she is allergic.

She had

a baked apple with pecans and cinnamon instead.

Next week, we will tackle something else. I don’t remember because I was to busy consoling myself with icing.

What is your favorite kind of cake?

September 24

There are some lessons that every girl must learn early in life.

First and foremost,

chocolate tastes good!

Helping other’s pays off.

Multitasking is inevitable.

Big brothers are important!

It doesn’t matter

how cute your hair is from one day to the next,

you will still have a bad hair days.

And last but not least…maybe, just maybe…

your dreams will come true.

Happy Birthday my beautiful girl!!

September 23

Going along with my naturey theme, the other morning when the boy and I went out for our wog,

this is what I saw.   I just had to turn around , go back into the house and get the camera!

2 blocks away from my house, as I crested the hill, I beheld this.  It makes the hill that I just heaved myself up worth it all.

If you look closely, you can see the boy at the bottom of the hill.

Are you willing to get up early to watch the sunrise?

September 22

You couldn’t tell by looking at me, but I am a nature girl. Meaning, I love looking at nature~~sans bugs~~not living out in it, or camping in it, or even nature hiking in it. Why? Because it is dirty!

Aaanyway…I am trying to document how fast the leaves are changing in this area. I love maple trees for 2 reasons…….they are the best shade trees, and they are the most beautiful in the autumn.

Remember this from 9/13?

This was yesterday.

Here is my view from the back deck this morning. Look at the sunrise. Aaahhhh! Sometimes I feel like God created this beauty just for me.

Thank you God for your handiwork.

What is your favorite tree?

September 21

Gas. It must be gas. It has to be gas. I can not live without gas!!!

I have always been a nosy sort. Just ask my parents. I would ask them questions and they~~especially my dad~~would just call me “niby”…short for nib nose. It was their way of telling me to mind my own business. I have never been able to learn that one. I don’t think I ever will.  I am nosy…plain and simple.

Because of this wonderful trait that I have inherited from my mother’s side of the family….Friday’s will now be “Burning question” day.

So! My Friday Burning Question is….

Which do you prefer, a gas or electric stove?

September 20

The chips had been after me for quite some time to find out, and interestingly I stumbled upon the fact that yesterday was “Talk Like A Pirate Day”. They, for some odd reason, were very excited. The boy especially.

I think he wants to be a pirate when he grows up.

As you can see, he already has a sword and scabbard.

I just can’t convince myself that this is a face of a would-be pirate. He still has clean teeth for goodness sake.

My only question is this…

Why is the rum always gone?

**note, as the daughter of a preacher, I feel that I must say that the chocolatechic household does not imbibe, we use these things for culinary purposes only…..well, except for the 12 year old bottle of Southern Comfort. That is for hot toddies. I also have to giggle when I say that this picture was the daughter’s idea, and she brought up almost all the liquor…bwahahahaha**

September 19

My dear friend Applie read about my abhorrence of bugs and put a lovely post in her blog about bugs. This blog is for her.

For the bug lovers that read this blog, you will cry, you will moan, you will be grief stricken, and you will not want to continue to read any further.

Applie, get your tissues ready.

See, I told you, you would be sad.

When I murder these not-so innocent bugs, I make sure that as I am flailing away at them I also yell “DIE…DIE…DIE”. It works every time.

No amount of prayers being said will ever help a bug here.

Let this be a lesson to all bugs that try to infiltrate my home. You will be destroyed, demolished, crushed, sprayed, swatted, stomped on, smooshed, and utterly annihilated.

How do you murderize your bugs?

September 18

After almost a 6 weeks of inactivity, the neighbor’s yard has sprung to life.

Very early the other morning, sounds of earth being moved was heard inside the Chocolatechic house.

I didn’t even have a load of laundry on my line yet. They had already been at it for about an hour before I snapped this photo. Excuse me…….guys??? When you are finished there, my yard is a little lumpy, could you smooth it out? Please?? I have some chocolate over here.

You can see that they’ve finished the headers on over the windows, and are moving very quickly along. I think they might want my chocolate.

OH! MY! GOODNESS!! Particle board??? for joists??? I have never seen such a thing.

They are going to have a very nice room. I want a very nice room.

Sub floor going down.

And now a rubber roof??? I guess they aren’t going to be getting their nice room for awhile. Hey! Hey guys!! Over here!!! Hellooooooooooooo…..I need a nice room!!! Come talk to me when you are finished. I’ll decorate you a cake, and we can be friends.

Do you have a room in your house that you would like to have remodeled? What would you do if money was no object?

September 17

So, yesterday the boy and I went to our cake decorating class. Let me just say that we are having a BLAST!

Saturday was spent making 4 cakes and at least 23 batches of icing. The first batch of cake that I made, yes! I said FIRST…because I was making 4, 9″ cakes, I had to double the recipe….and I am thinking in my head 1 ¾ doubled is 3½…or is it? So at the same time I am measuring out the sugar and counting the ½ cups I am dumping into the butter, I am also thinking “is 1 ¾ doubled 3½?” so my brain is stressing at this point…and I add way to much sugar to the ½ pound of butter. So…

I began again, this time…solely focusing on 3 ½…3½…3½…! Cooled the cakes, made 2 of the 52 batches of icing and gave my cake a scholoping of icing.

At this time we were all rushing out the door to go to a memorial service for a beloved friend. When we got home, I smoothed it out.

I could just eat the cake this way. Forget about extra icing, forget colorful details, forget roses or leaves or vines or writing…….just give me cake already!!!

I learned something new. I learned that clear piping gel smells like chemicals and smelly feet, and that there is something to, licking way to much icing, and to little decorating supplies.

I don’t know if you can see the clear lines on the cake, but that is the clear gel. It came in really handy.

Fill in all the areas with whatever color you like. These are the colors that the boy wanted…which is good because these are the only colors we had…well, I had purple, but it wouldn’t have matched anything else. And what man wants to decorate his first cake with purple???

I have added all sorts of fun stuff…but there is still something missing.


I gave it to the neighbor man. I hope he enjoys it.

Next week, we are doing cup cakes. I am excited about that.

How should I decorate my cup cakes?

September 16

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was warm, and the air had a nip in it. The sky was an indescribable shade of blue, and the clouds were white at the tops and gray at the bottom.

As I was driving to a memorial service of a beloved friend, I just had to take this picture.

This picture doesn’t even come close to doing justice to what I saw. Nor does it show the terrified faces of the rest of the Chip clan as I am doing 60, and snapping away.

I love this time of year.

What is your favorite season?

September 14

As requested, my senior picture.

I just realized that it was 20, yes, 20 years ago that I graduated from high school in Farmington, Missouri.

Yikes! I was young!!! I was all of 17, and thought that I knew it all.

Here I am as a Freshman in College. 18….

And now, and the ripe old age of 37..

I don’t feel any older. Well, maybe my knees feel older, but not my heart…not my head.

Which picture is your favorite? Mine is the pink one…

Did you expect any different??

September 13

I was a delinquent in my youth. Yes, Miss. Prim and Proper, Miss. Everyone-must-follow-the-rules, Miss. The-worse-thing-I-could-have-done-to-anyone-was- to-stick-out-my-tongue-at-them, was a delinquent.

When I was in 3rd grade, we lived in a house in North Lewisburg. Memories of this place are very vague~~hey! I was only 8~~ save 2 very vivid ones.

1. I stole .78 from my teacher Mrs. Smith’s desk. I don’t remember taking it, but I do remember my parents finding the money. I had hidden it in my dresser drawer. The same dresser that the girl now uses. I don’t know why I had stolen the money, but dad came with me to school to make me return it. Thanks dad. If it weren’t for you, I might have been a jewel thief, or bank robber, or in Europe somewhere dabbling in espionage, drugs, and the mafia.

The second most vivid memory of that place was the dream. I had overheard a conversation between my parents about the fact that the house had termites. To a child of 8, and only knowing that termites ate wood, this was very frightening, and I began to have “the dream”.

My sister and I slept on white bunk beds. I on the top and she on the bottom. In the more horrific version of this dream, the termites had munched the floor of our bedroom so much that the weight of our bed caused the floor to collapse, only underneath our bed, and we both went down into the pit. The pit was a bad place full of creepy, crawly termites, dirt, grime and spiders. We couldn’t get out. I would begin to suffocate and then wake up. To this very day, anything that is creepy or crawly has my instant disdain, abhorrence, and I commit murder on them any time I can. Sorry dad, you didn’t get all the delinquent out of me.

The second version of the dream, dad and I were in the house and the termites had munched at the floor so much that we heard creaking and groaning. Dad told me to stand in the doorway and hold on to the sides. Just as I got to the doorway, all of the floor gave way save the thresholds where we were standing.

I have never been one to remember much. I live life, and most of the details are quickly forgotten. That is why I love pictures so much. They bring back the memories for me. I don’t know many other people like that. I guess I just take life as it comes and remember only the big things. Like creepy crawlies, like thieving .78, like having the entire upstairs as our play house, getting a baton as a just-because gift, and getting stung by a wasp on my back in during evening devotions. I loved living in that house, but I hated the termites that had me terrified every night.

What do you remember from when you were 8?

September 12

I love old things….old buildings, old people, old furniture, old books. They strike a chord, deep inside me.

This is where my son works. 99% of the buildings down Main Street are all well over 150 years old. This building is situated right next to the building I fell in love with the first time I ever went down Main Street.

This old, very gracious, very lovely, 125 year old Victorian mansion. Every day I go by this building and I see it’s old splendor I could just weep. It’s beauty is just dying to get out. I can feel it’s shame.

At present, it is a preschool.

If I were to ever get rich, I would buy this building and rescue it. I would rescue it from the little mermaid, I would wash all the grimy hand prints off it’s windows, I would restore the inside to it’s former glory.

Look at this glorious architecture. Look beneath the grime and imagine it’s once-upon-a-time splendor.

I wonder who looked out these windows. Were they happy, did they eat beef, did they long for air conditioning?

I would tear down this offending fire escape, and demolish the extra building they have added on. Disgraceful! I am sorry lovely house…they shouldn’t treat you this way. You deserve better.

I wonder who made these beautiful windows that are being hidden by all the dirt and grime. Were they paid well for their craftsmanship? Did the owner make them tea and crumpets?

No one cares for this house. Does it know that I do?

I would pay workers to strip off all the peeling paint, and repaint it all, I would have them scrub all the dirt and grime from each and every brick and stone.

I wonder how many servants lived up in the attic. Was there a butler named James, and a cook named Hilda? How long did it take to sweep the floors and polish the banisters?

See this lovely Veranda……oh the wicker that belongs on this porch….I could cry. Did they have lawn parties and barbecues? Did they drink mint juleps or have high tea?

Hold on just a little longer. I am saving my pennies. You need me.

What speaks to you?

September 11

A word….a look…a gesture. That is how we all communicate.

The chips let me sleep in a bit this morning, but I just couldn’t go back to sleep. My brain just wouldn’t shut off. For years I have looked for that shut-off valve, but haven’t been able to find it. Anyone have the manual, I really need to know where that switch is.

Anyway, I rolled over pulled the Bible off my nightstand…and why is it called a night stand? Does it lay down in the daytime?…and flipped to Romans 12. I love Romans 12 because it has so much packed into one chapter. I read that, and just needed something more, so I began to flip through. I stopped in Matthew 15 and I got to verse 17 that says it isn’t what you put into your mouth that defiles you~~hallelujah!! pass the Hershey’s!~~it is what comes out of your mouth that defiles you. YIKES!! D0 I speak a blessing or a cursing?

We all think that we communicate well. We all have the occasional outburst, the occasional snark, the occasional head-spinning moment, but for the most part we think do well. The thing is, we aren’t on the receiving end of the communication.

What about your facial expressions? How does your face look when those that you love walk in the room? Is is a pleasant I’m-so-happy-your-here face or is it more of an anger, disapproving, tired look? These things will have an effect on our loved ones too.

I have begun to ask myself at the end of the day….would I have wanted to be my child today? would I have wanted to be my spouse today?

How about you?