Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trip Notes and Brownies

We seem to be very busy trying to get ready to leave on our trip a week from today. I am wanting to be completely ready to go two days before the day we leave. Today I am trying to get my clothes ready. We both want to travel with just enough to get by. We will have to do laundry about once a week while we are gone, but I'm sure we can do that wherever we are. There are so many things to do at the last minute. We are very fortunate that our neighbor across the street is going to take care of our house while we are gone. She does this for a living, so she will be very careful and caring. We will have her take in our mail, check everything in the house and outside. We are going to pay her for her services, even though she would have done it for free. It will be nice not to worry about the house while we are gone. Six weeks is a long time!!

Our weekend was pretty busy. I made brownies to take to one of our friends that we visit each month (visiting teaching). I love to bake, but am getting so slow at it because I have to sit down so often. My time standing keeps getting less and less, and now it is about five minutes. I can walk a bit longer than that because it is much easier for me to walk than to stand. My brownies are pretty darned good if I do say so myself, and I will post the recipe at the end of this blog, if I remember. They are easy but delicious. By the way, I NEVER use mixes but I do like to bake things that are easy to put together.

After our V.T. I got my hair cut again. It grows so slowly, and I guess I am fortunate for that, but the last time I got it cut, my regular gal was on vacation, so had to use another one and unfortunately, she cut it so short and it was all choppy. It looked awful because it stuck out in many places. Honestly, I thought it would never grow out long enough to cut it right before we were to leave. As it was, it was almost 12 weeks, and it was still pretty short. Alma, my regular girl, mostly trimmed it and tried to correct it, but now it looks pretty normal again, thank heavens.

Sunday we didn't do anything but go to church, come home and rest. Our new schedule starts in September (our Stake President's idea, since he thinks we ought to make the change when school starts, instead of at the beginning of the year) and we will be going to church from 1:00 in the afternoon until 4:00! I really hate this schedule, but we have three wards meeeting in our chapel, so have to take our turn.

Yesterday was a pretty crazy day! We went shopping in the morning because we needed to get Dick some new clothes for going to church. His are all so tight because neither of us has been able to lose the weight we gained over the holidays. Goodness knows we have tried and we will lose a few, but then something happens to get us off track........celebration dinners out, having company, dinner invitations, or just too much candy on "chocolate Sundays". At any rate, we bought him a new suit and also a sport jacket, so at least he will look decent. I also bought two pairs of sandals. I can't wear a closed toe because my right big toe hurts when I try. I lost the nail a few weeks ago, and it takes about a year for the nail to grow back. It is okay in the summer, but I am not sure how I will make out when the weather gets cold on our trip. I'll just have to freeze, I guess. About two o'clock in the afternoon I got a call from my daughter, Nikki, telling me that Kristin (my darling little Sullivan's mom) had preeclampsia and the doctor's were going to induce her, a little over three weeks early. She had terrible stomach cramps and was throwing up way too much. We were both upset, but I was about to go crazy with worry. We had company coming for dinner that night, and I was so grateful our friends, Jim and Verna were coming because it helped so much to keep my brain occupied. They had missed the celebration of President Monson's birthday concert on BYU TV and we had taped it, so we watched it again and that helped too as we did enjoy it the second time. It was such an excellent concert. Later that night, Nikki called to say they had decided to wait and see how Kristin was today. Nikki had already made plans to catch the earliest flight out, plus she is a school teacher and I suppose they had a substitute in place, but I suppose she managed to undo all that as she didn't want to leave until they actually did induce her. She called me just a little while ago from her school and told me they were going to induce her within the hour so I guess she is in labor right now. I do feel so sorry for her as she doesn't handle pain too well, and had to have an epidural for Sullivan. I had to be induced when I had my first with Sue. I had all my babies naturally because I CAN stand a lot of pain, but I will have to say, that birth with Sue was so super painful. I thought it would last forever. The last three were a piece of cake in comparison. We are both praying mightily that all will go well for her and the baby.

I think I am about to the end, and guess what? I remembered to post the recipe so here it is:

Grandma Robbins' Chocolate Brownies: (This can easily be mixed by hand)

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons margarine or butter (1 cube +2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix sugar and cocoa in small bowl. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour. Add margarine or butter and mix well. turn into buttered 8X8 pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (check with toothpick)
You can sprinkle with powdered sugar but I prefer to ice it with the following:

Great chocolate icing:

1/2 cube plus 1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup milk
Cook these three ingredients over low heat until it comes to a boil, stirring so that it doesn't stick. Pour this mixture over 2 cups powdered sugar that has been sifted into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 chopped walnuts. If too thick, thin with milk or hot water, just a teaspoon at a time until right consistancy for spreading. If too thin, add a spoonful of powdered sugar until perfect for spreading. Pour over cake and spread evenly. Yum!


  1. Hi Darlene,
    You're just like me about getting ready for a trip. I like to be packed a few days ahead because I never know how busy I'll get at the last minute.

    The last time I got my hair cut at the salon, I looked like a boy and I decided that the next time I would try to cut my own hair. I borrowed a book about cutting hair and I've been cutting my own hair for about 15 years now. Look at all the money I saved. If people were all like me, hairdressers would starve, lol...

    I have found that our church has so many occasions where there is fattening food and sweet that I think they are guilty of causing many parishioners to gain weight gain.

    I wear sandals in the summer because they are so much more comfortable than shoes. I have big bunions which can get painful when I wear shoes. Sometimes I go barefoot in the house.

    Your brownie recipe is similar than mine but not the chocolate icing. I'll have to try that.

    I hope that you'll have a fabulous time on your trip. Have fun.
    Hugs. JB

  2. I hear the clock ticking as the time to come visit us draws closer. I hope you enjoy the trip and I'm hoping our weather will be good so we can enjoy it and you won't freeze! I would hate that Sunday schedule. When I was in the Stake Primary I always dreaded going to the meetinghouses that had that time....I was not happy they changed ours to 10am-1pm..it was 9-12 and I know it's only an hour, but I'm an early riser and I like getting things underway! Thanks for the recipe! You know I'll have to try it! Have a good week getting ready!

  3. Sounds like you are super busy, Mom. Be sure not to overdo, okay? Try to do a little each day. (I know you already know that, of course!)

    Can't wait till Kristin's baby is safely delivered.


  4. I know you usually only post on Tuesdays but if possible, could you let us know before then about the baby? Most girls get epidurals these days so I imagine they will keep her pretty comfortable.

    I didn't know anything about Pres Monson's birthday concert. I'm sure I would have loved that! I will check my BYU guide and see if it's going to be rebroadcast. I sure hope so!

    Take Sue's advice. Slow down and don't work too hard getting ready for this trip. I can't imagine going 6 weeks without hearing from you. :( But have fun, and be careful.

  5. I hope you have a wonderful trip! Are you visiting Yaya? (My memory - if you said, I don't remember...) Your brownies sound soooooo good. I want to make them NOW. Have a good time, and thanks for letting us know that Sue started out being a big pain.

  6. heehee

    I perfected it early, Karen.


  7. I will be anxious to hear how the birth went. I know it is a worry. My youngest daughter doesn't handle pain well at all either. She has 4 children and had epidurals. She had some two surgeries in the last 2 years; so she is learning to handle pain a little bit better.
    You are one busy lady trying to get ready for you trip. I am sure your husband is enjoying some new clothes; that is always fun. We are always struggling with weight issues too. I go up 5 and down 5lbs. I did lose 5 and have stablized there; but need to push it again.
    I am happy for you that your hair cut turned out. I did the same thing just before a trip in March. I didn't go to the main girl and the other one cut it so short; I didn't even know how to do anything with it. It was the shortest my hair had ever been.
    Well keep on packing and I will look forward to a moment you all. Blessings and hugs!
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  8. Sounds like you are super busy getting ready. I feel like the lucky side trip that you will make while you go to visit Kathy too. Like you, I like to be organized and packed ahead so that I can think about what I'm missing and not rushed at the end.

    Like you too, I have trouble getting off those special occasion pounds. Oh well,...there's always next week....

    Prayers that all goes well with the baby's birth

  9. Hello Darlene, I hope your trip is going well. That looks a great brownie recipe - must try it!