Heterogeneous means a mixture of different things – that’s what you’ll find here. I’ll blog about books, movies, politics, parenting, etc. etc. Hopefully, this blog will help me keep in touch with my scattered friends and family.


Friday is my day off from my two part-time jobs.  Since I don’t work full-time, I must have lots of time for housework, right?

As if I’d have time for that….

I’m the Dilbert of housewives!


Here’s my day: (click on More)


My sons, of course!

Both of them completed experiments for the Science Fair.  H. investigated household cleaners for flammability, and A. discovered which wrapping material kept produce the freshest.



A.'s project won 2nd place at Sandhills Regional Fair

In the wide world of sports, A. just finished basketball season. He played well, and we saw his skills improve each game. H. ‘s on the JV soccer team at Wilson.  The Tigers are 0-2 so far, but H. plays the entire game! The Coach and other (more expert) parents tell me well he’s doing.

A. was great on defense!

A. was great on defense!

That red hair's easy to follow!

That red hair's easy to follow!

First of all, I will confess that among my college friends I am famous for my cashew chicken. More like infamous – it’s one of those stories that get me laughing so hard it’s difficult to tell.

Years ago, as upperclass students, we were all living off campus and enjoyed having dinner parties.  When it was my turn, I wanted to impress my friends with a new recipe – cashew chicken.  It was a delicious meal I’d been served by Mrs. Murphy when I was hanging out with Doug Murphy, one of my Pizza Inn coworkers back in those days

The chicken breasts were cut in small pieces, breaded and fried. This was served over rice with a tasty sauce. I had to search for the “exotic” ingredient it required: oyster sauce. I couldn’t wait for my friends to try it!

The night arrived, and I slaved over the stove. That was back when I only had two pans and hand-me-down dishes. Sherry and Russ were there; Jennifer and Dave, and Steve.

Proudly, I served everyone this unique dish. They politely tasted the cashew chicken, then someone asked me, “Where are the cashews?”

Where indeed?

Mrs. Murphy hadn’t included cashews in the recipe she wrote out for me, nor had her dish had any nuts. I never found out if that was a mistake, or due to allergies.

The truth of the matter – I thought the name came from the shape of the small chicken pieces. They sure look cashew-like.

To this day, I have not lived down that meal! A few years later, I was able to host a repeat, complete with cashews, and served from Royal Doulton china this time.

In the NYTimes yesterday, I found a delightful article about this dish, which has been a staple in restaurants in Springfield, Missouri for almost 50 years.

“Cashew chicken, in the form first cooked by Mr. Leong nearly a half-century ago, is not the stir-fry served by many Chinese-American restaurants. Around Springfield, cashew chicken — deep-fried chicken chunks in a brown slurry of soy sauce, oyster sauce and stock, scattered with green onions and halved cashews — is the culinary common denominator.

And, wouldn’t you know, the Murphy’s were from Springfield, Missouri, the home of this recipe!


Visit this blog for another cashew chicken story and the recipe!

At the end of January, I attended the annual Scraptacular Weekend at Myrtle Beach. The weather was crisp and cold, but we still walked to dinner on Friday night!

Our table of four consisted of Gay, Joanne, Theresa, and yours truly. It was great to see many of our scrapbooking friends.

My pagecount: 35+

Some favorites:


The rock climbing embellishment is from a great scrapbooking online resource – Scrap Your Trip.

It’s been really busy around here – let me try to catch up with everything that’s been happening.

The most surprising news — we had two snows this winter. The first one in January was very pretty and nothing to worry about.  School was cancelled and I enjoyed a short drive to the grocery store. Due to the low temperatures and possible threat of icy roads (well, a threat to southern drivers), the next day had a 2 hr delay!

school cancelled for this?!

school cancelled for this?!

The next snowfall was in February and was a real snow shower! I watched the news, kept checking websites, but school was on! The roads were slick, but we all made it safely. Most of my students arrived for lab, too.

School officials received so many complaints, a 2 hr delay was scheduled for the next day. Most was melted by then, but we all enjoyed another slow morning.

En route to school

En route to school

We almost had a hat trick! Last week, there was a threat of serious snow, and the schools gambled and scheduled a 2 hr delay. But the snow never made it to Florence, though many inches fell in North Carolina.

So, even though we didn’t have 3 snows, we did get a hat trick of 2 hr delays!

What an historic and hopeful day!

The inauguration ceremony has just ended, and Barack Obama is ready to lead our country into new era of faith, determination and responsibility.

His speech was amazing, and touched on all the issues facing us today. It’s available online here. Obama’s leadership shines through, and I agreed with so many of his points: market oversight, ushering in peace instead of war, exploring new energy technology, focusing on education.  He also said that government programs will be accountable. All in all, a “re-making” of the United States!

Earlier highlights:

*Michelle Obama’s dress – golden yellow, like a ray of sunshine bringing a new day

*Aretha Franklin singing My Country ‘Tis of Thee – beautiful voice and hat, too!

*The classical music selection from the ‘diversity quartet’ – Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma , Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill ( a Jew, an Asian, a Hispanic woman, an African American) – great symbolism!

I’m a huge fan of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. The first book, One for the Money, introduced Stephanie Plum, a native of Trenton, New Jersey, and her adventures as a barely-competent bounty hunter.  Though not so good at her job, she’s funny and sexy and hangs out with the hilarious characters in the Burg.

Her constant companion, Lula, is a former ‘ho turned file clerk.  In between stops at the mall or the bakery, they run afoul of petty and not-so-petty criminals. Frequently,  Stephanie’s car explodes.

The two men in her life, Joe Morelli (the Italian Stallion) and Ranger (man of mystery) keep her safe, satisfied and conflicted! You’ll probably find that you can’t decide who’s best for her, either.

The latest book was Fearless Fourteen;  soon to be released is Finger Lickin’ Fifteen. Occasionally, Evanovich releases a between-the-numbers novelette, centered around a third male in Steph’s life – Diesel.

Plum Spooky, the latest of these, was just released a few weeks ago. I was happy to find out that Janet Evanovich would be in Mt. Pleasant, about a 2 hour drive.


A few friends and I made the trip, and had a great time. I finished Plum Spooky in 2 days — can’t wait for the next release!