Wednesday, October 24

Old Sterilizer Cabinet, Snickerdoodle Blondies, and Short-Eared Owls

I see I've been quiet on here for a little while!  I've just been busy and bustling away here.  We headed over to Indiana on Saturday to help my in-laws clean out their back garage.  It was an all-day affair, and very tiring work, but we got it done in one day!  Cleaning is fun, and I enjoy it.  Since I'm still in my purging mood, I also enjoyed hearing the words, "pitch it", "burn pile", and "do you want that?", which, in fact, we did!  We took home a picture of my father-in-law's Navy picture, a black-and-white photograph from 1969 of him with his company.  It's a neat picture!  He and my father both share a Navy background; my father-in-law served in a submarine during Vietnam, and my father served on a light cruiser which is now docked in Buffalo, New York: USS Little Rock.  My husband's brother and sister both served in the Air Force, and my grandfathers both served in the Army during WWII.  We have a strong history of military service in our family, and I'm proud of that!

We also took home an antique sterilizer cabinet.  I can't seem to find any information on it, such as an idea of age, but it was used to sterilize towels at beauty parlors and barber shops.  My mother-in-law, who is a beautician, had planned to have her own styling salon a long time ago, and this was part of the furnishings that they purchased for her.  It was never used, sadly, and sat in the garage for years, but now we have it and I'd love to turn it into a usable cabinet in our forever home.  I'm excited!  By the way, if anyone out there can offer information on this cabinet, please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the post.
After the hard work that we did on Saturday, I felt exhausted on Sunday.  I did as little as possible, but there's always energy for baking!  I came across this recipe for snickerdoodle blondies online (yep, you guessed it--Pinterest!), and snickerdoodles are one of the hub's favorite cookies.  It sounded too good to not make, so here is the recipe, courtesy of Dozen Flours:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish.) Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.

These are just so good.  You can thank me later.  We ate them and I never even bothered to take a picture before they disappeared.

Owl Corner: Short-Eared Owls
Photo from Wikipedia
This week, I'll tell you about Short-Eared Owls.  These owls can be found across the entire United States, north into Canada, and south into South America.  Their main habitats are grasslands, where they hunt during the late afternoon and through the night.  They usually range from 13"-17" in height, making them a medium-sized predator.  Their feathers are usually brown with streaks along their chest, stomach and back areas, and males tend to be lighter colored than females.  They have white faces with yellow eyes circled by a ring of black.  They prey mostly on small mammals, such as mice and voles, but have also been known to attack other small birds and even go fishing on occasion.  Hey, a bird's gotta eat!  I wonder if a crayfish is like a lobster dinner to an owl?  Because of their habitats, the owls tend to nest on the ground, usually in grass mounds or clumps of ground cover.  They tend to lay 5-7 eggs on average, but have been known to lay up to 14 eggs when food is most abundant.  They can live for up to 13 years.
Information taken from

Being able to help others is always fun.  I think it contributes to a person's joy in life!  When I am able to help, I feel like I've accomplished something.  It's even better when the people you help are those you love the most: family.  Our ability and willingness to help others is also pleasing to God: "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (Hebrews 13:16).  It seems like people are less willing to lend a hand to others these days, so I encourage you to take a moment out of your day and look around.  If you're at the store, is there someone who needs help loading their groceries?  The leaves are falling; could your elderly neighbor use a hand with raking them up?  It won't take long to do, and you'll be glad you did!

P.S.  I'm starting to add some Christmas items to my shop on Etsy.  No, it's not too early to think about Christmas!  If you feel like it, check it out! The Sunflower Tree.

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