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Here it is SEPTEMBER. The air is fresher with the Furgeson Fire contained. It’s been a difficult summer for so many friends and former co-workers having to evacuate their homes or be on pre-evacuation. The death of a young Mariposa dozer operator working on the fire was devastating. It really hits home when you know the family. Words are not enough to thank the brave fire fighters who daily put themselves in danger in order to protect others.

On a more positive note, I am honored to be continuing in December as a Bass Lake Elementary school board member. I recently attended Back to School Nights and witnessed enthusiastic and eager teachers share about their grade level goals and classroom expectations. The evenings were well attended. Hats off to the parents for being so supportive and congratulations to the teachers for being well prepared to discuss their curriculum.


On Super Bowl Sunday I pulled out of my recipe collection an old favorite – Chocolate Mess.  My dear friend, Jane Gyer, shared this recipe with me many years ago for a potluck special dessert.  When she originally gave me the recipe written out Jane put in parenthesis the words, Yum Yum.  From that time on the name has become Chocolate Mess Yum Yum.

Several people who came to our Super Bowl evening recently asked if I would be willing ( well, actually they practically ordered me) to make Chocolate Mess Yum Yum for a large gathering that is being held this evening in Oakhurst.  So, I have just finished my fourth batch and the hot chocolate mousse pudding-like cakes are now slow cooking, filling the house with amazing dark chocolate aroma. Yep…yum, yum!

Here is the recipe for Chocolate Mess Yum Yum

1 package chocolate cake mix

1 4oz. package instant chocolate pudding mix

6 oz. chocolate chips

16 oz. sour cream

4 eggs

1 cup water

3/4 cup vegetable oil

Spray inside of crockpot with non-stick vegetable coating.  Mix all ingredients together and dump into crockpot.  Set temperature to low and cook 5 to 7 hours.  Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  Lean back and sigh!!

As I was watching the ABC Good Morning America program today one of their previews for the week was “Living the Dream”.  Each of the broadcasters will have a clip on their own “living the dream” which will be aired throughout this week. Robin Roberts is going to be the pace car driver  for an upcoming race.

This all made me think about my own version of “Living the Dream”.  My own version is just starting to unfold and how exciting for me.  I recently “retired” from being a professional educator for 38 years which was a wonderful and fulfilling career.  And now I am just starting to see so many opportunities and new adventures for my life.  When I was working I certainly did not close my self off to adventure but the reality of day-to-day work limited my vision of what else might be for me.  So, this morning even just seeing the TV program on “Living the Dream” has inspired me to pull up on the computer my safely stored self- written Bucket List that I have been adding to for years.  I can hardly wait to see what my priorities are now!  Watch out world, here I come!

I recently was at a repair shop where I have done business for years.  While seated in the waiting area the owner came over to me and said hello.  He told me about his divorce and having to sell off of some of his homes and man toys. I listened politely and murmured a few sympathetic comments. Then, with a big grin and great enthusiasm he announced to me that he was taking a male enhancement drug.  This seemed to be the middle-aged male come-on straight from TV land.  All I could think of was this fellow sitting in an outdoor bathtub holding hands with some woman also sitting in a bathtub as they both gazed off into the distance towards the rural setting. I mean I really had to fight hard not to laugh right out loud.  I just said “All righty now” and moved away.  Yuk!  Apparently this man thought he was really with-it to make this statement. TV unreality had become his reality.  The problem is now when I think about going to the repair shop I mentally picture the man in the bathtub!  This is not a pretty picture to associate with repairs. What needs to be repaired is this man’s manners. “Shop talk”  has also taken on a whole new meaning for me.