Monthly Archives: August 2012

More Garage Sale Treasures


Over the weekend we started weeding out Aunt Sheila’s garage sale stuff.  For those of you who don’t know, our Aunt Sheila passed away on July 4th.  I posted about her earlier in my Trash to Treasure post.

Aunt Sheila

I snagged quite a few things.  Take a peek:

Jilly Bean’s Treasures

The nutcrackers in back are for Halloween.  I don’t go for witches and ghosts and all that stuff, but these are a scarecrow, Frankenstein (stine?), and a vampire.  The milk crate was actually carried by someone we knew (Ted, for those of you who remember him).  The little yellow dish matches a bunch of stuff I already have and the books in back were a steal from the Crystal Library as in “However many you can stuff in a bag for three dollars.”  Oh yeah, and there’s a little pushy-up scarecrow in the bunch, too, if you can find him.

Which leaves the two 7-up elves–Sparkly and Parkly.  Who needs to buy a thirty dollar Elf-on-a-Shelf for Christmas when you have Sparkly and Parkly?  Actually, Parkly was originally a Sparkly but his “S” fell off and he couldn’t be sold.  So when I grabbed Sparkly, Parkly was thrown in for free.  Now just for a heads up (not a 7-up!), Sparkly and Parkly will probably be getting into some mischief around December.  But I’m not sure–will Sparkly do good things and Parkly do bad things, or will they do good and bad things together as a team?  I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.

Finally, Jilly Bean turned 51 last week.  It was great because I saved the candles from the kids 15th birthday last January and just switched the numbers around and used them on my cake.  And yes, when The Husband turns 61 in December, I will be able to repurpose the candles in January for the kids’ 16th birthday!

Oops! I should have had them write “Happy Birthday Jilly Bean!”

Tomorrow I will be unpacking more boxes in my classroom.  Hope to get them all opened and everything put away by Friday.  Check back here later!

Jilly Bean


Prison Bars and a Peek at Fall


You are probably wondering about the title of this post.  Maybe you’re thinking I’m in jail, looking through the bars at the leaves changing color in July.  Doesn’t make sense at all.  Or maybe you’re thinking I’m looking ahead to fall with the anticipation of being in jail.  Nope.

I’ll explain the first part first.  It’s always good to start at the beginning 😉

These are Prison Bars:

Why are they called “Prison Bars”?  The name was created almost 20 years ago when the husband and a bunch of guys from South Church went to play softball against a bunch of prison inmates as an outreach ministry.  Besides getting called “Cheeseburger” and “Lollipop” by the inmates, the prison guards got in on the act and took it upon themselves to do the not-so-nice thing of stealing the Social Security numbers the guys had to provide to get clearance into the prison.  You and I know it as “Identify Theft.”  They sold these numbers to the inmates as they were released from prison so they could go out and rack up debt in our names. Many of us are still cleaning up that mess today, as in “No, we never lived on Mack Street in Detroit, let alone have a phone there!”  Anyhow, I made these brownies for the guys to eat in the van to and from the prison, hence the name “Prison Bars.”

Originally called “Chocolate Nut Brownies” (b-o-r-i-n-g),  I decided to take out the nuts and change the name.  The recipe came from an ad in a magazine for Hershey’s Chocolate Chips and Borden’s Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk. Here’s the recipe:

1 (12 oz) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1/4 cup butter

2 cups Bisquick

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350;  in a large saucepan, over low heat, melt 1 cup chips with the butter; remove from heat.  Add in Bisquick, sweetened condensed milk, egg, and vanilla.  Stir in remaining chips.  Turn into a well-greased 13×9-inch baking pan.  Bake 25 minutes or until bars begin to pull away from the sides of pan.  Cool.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into bars.  Store tightly covered.

These are great because they can be made in one pan on top of the stove.  Even Andrew thought it was easy:

Andrew thinking bars are easy to make

So now for the “Peek at Fall” part of the post.  This is what  found while out for my walk last night:

The First Leaf of Fall

Not to worry.  Jilly Bean has lots of fun things planned for August before she even begins to think about s-c-h……………………..

Now quick get to the kitchen and make some Prison Bars!

Jilly Bean