Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm flattered, really.

Here's a link to a letter to the editor I wrote last month. I think I posted it on my blog already (it would be in the May archives if you really want to go looking for it).

May 25th Letter

This past tuesdays opinion page had this.

I think it's really amusing. It must be a rite of passage or something, to have someone reply to your letter to the editor.

The Chicken Man

We pulled the rest of the peas up tonight. They were dried out and we want to plant more corn in their place. After we (meaning the Mr.) pulled them up, we saw MILLIONS (practically) of earwigs. I strongly dislike earwigs, even thinking about them makes me shiver. The Mr. suggested letting the chickens out, so we secured the dog in the house and he brought one at a time. They had a good time, and cleared all of the visible earwigs out of the garden. Someday I'm going to have enough raised beds that one or two can be empty at any given time to let the chickens poop in and eat bugs.
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After they had finished most of the bugs, they started to get bored and wander off (yum, that lettuce looks tasty!) so the Mr. and his brother herded them back into their coop.
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Once back in the coop, the Mr. held one chicken and let her eat from his hand. While he was feeding the one, another hopped onto his back (don't worry, it didn't poop on him- I was surprised).
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Garlic Chicken

I think I might have to start feeding my chickens garlic. Apparently, It makes their poop less smelly (although with the sawdust, this hasn't been a huge problem) and could possibly reduce the cholesterol in their eggs.

I have read that putting a crushed clove of garlic in the water helps keep chickens healthy too.

On a different chicken-feeding note, we have discovered that the chickens LOVE grape leaves. They ate the leaf I'm holding in this picture in a frenzy.
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Culture of Fear

My family has been talking about Al Gore's movie (I haven't seen it yet) on global warming. Kind of a side note from that we got onto the "culture of fear". Here's an excellent quote from my sister:

Part of the problem with the culture of fear is that when we're all worked up about some of these issues in which the threat is imaginary or greatly overstated, or contrived for some manipulative purpose, it's a lot harder to identify and respond to any real threats that might come along. That's why levees don't get shored up and schools don't get funded and people can't afford health insurance. Then we end up spending all our time and money trying to clean up the mess that we could have prevented, if only it had been seen as more popular and good for business at the time.

I would like to see a government that protects families by investing in healthcare, nutrition, education, and housing. Actual threats to the stability of a home that are well within the government's power to do something about. But that's crazy liberal talk, I know.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If I were a Republican

Here's who I'd be voting for in today's primary election:
County Commission Seat B- Louenda Downs
County Sheriff- Todd Richardson
House Rep. #20- Paul Neuenschwander

I did actually get to vote on proposition 1, which is the school bond. I voted in favor.

Now we'll just have to wait until tonight to see if Davis County agrees with me...

(feel free to post who you'd be voting for (or who you actually voted for if applicable))

Davis County Watch goes PINK

Here's a really long post I made at Davis County Watch. Tyler is taking time off to be with his wife, daughter, and new baby.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Feeling Lucky?

I am.

The Mr. and I participated with our youth group in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. For helping out, we each got a t-shirt, a free breakfast, and two raffle tickets.

I just found out that I won the "date basket". It has movie passes, gift certificates for dinner, and DAVE MATTHEWS TICKETS!!!!

I'll update this post tomorrow after I pick up the basket and can tell you exactly what it contains.

I'm very excited though. A part of me worries that there was a mistake, so we'll see.

UPDATE: I picked up the gift basket today (Sunday), it is indeed real. Here's what it contains:
$10 in coupons for Dee's Family Restaurant
4 bowling passes
One free large pizza
2 movie passes
Two Dave Matthews Band tickets (YEA!!!)
$20 at Robintinos
Dinner for 2 at Su Casa
Dinner for 2 at La Puente
2 free "concrete's" at Nielson's Frozen Custard
2 free entrees at Applebee's

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Utah Amicus

Go HERE and check out the posts titled: Tolerance: Episode One; Tolerance: Episode Two; and Tolerance: Episode Three.

I found them comforting. It's nice to know that there are people running for public offices who are sensible (and I'm referring to Rob Miller, not LaVar Christensen).

Davis County Watch

If you have looked at my profile recently, you may have noticed a new blog. This is not a blog that I started. It belongs to a neighbor of mine whose wife is going to be having a baby soon, so he has asked my "good" friend (just kidding Nat) and I to fill in for him.

Tyler (the blog owner/neighbor) is what I would consider SUPER ULTRA CONSERVATIVE Republican. He has invited me to "make my case" since that will be entertaining for him. Or something.

I don't particularly feel like I have a case to make. Everyone knows how sensible I am, after all.

It should be fun, so stay tuned. When Davis County Watch turns bright pink, it's show time for yours truly.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Welcome to Orchard Hills

Three of the city council members would like to change the name of the city. Three is a majority, so they could do it. Thankfully they've put the decision on hold (or maybe not so thankfully, since that gives us less time to gather signatures to get the issue put on the november ballot if they go ahead and do it later).

The whole name change issue is ridiculous. Why spend a large amount of tax money to do something where the only direct benefit is allowing people in big houses up on the hill to feel like they live in a more luxurious city? It's frivolous. I'm feeling a bit frustrated with some of the local officials. I don't feel represented.

The good thing about the possible name change, is that it is getting people interested in what is going on in our local government.

Yard Work Mania

Monday night Mr. and I spent several hours outside working in the yard. He mowed and weed whacked everything and edged the lawn. I went to Smiths Marketplace and picked up some perennials and some ground cover (all on sale) and a few 6-packs of annuals. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The lawn looks great, no dead spots (at least no major ones- well there's the area that we don't have sprinklers in, but we're going to do something else with that one of these days, so it doesn't count). I pulled all the junk out of the front flower bed. I often trim the roses and just let the branches fall into the flower bed, so that along with the dead tulip/daffodil leaves made the whole thing pretty messy looking. It's all cleaned up with the new perennials and annuals planted (although it could use more annuals until the perennials grow a little more).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I also planted some ground cover in a small strip of earth between the fence and the sidewalk. It used to be weeds, but this spring we cleaned it up and filled it with bulbs. Hopefully the ground cover will fill out and keep the weeds down.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Our yard looks like someone cares about it. Now we just need to get a new front door (we painted the screen door red last summer, or the summer before that, I don't remember but it looks bad again and I don't think it will be worth repainting...).

If we could get the inside finished, we'd be in a good spot to sell (but it's not finished, and we're not ready to move for a few more years, so nobody get excited).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Protecting Kids

There was a story on the news tonight about the Utah Kids Registry website (click the title to go to that site). The site acts like the Do Not Call Registry, but it is for emails, Instant Messengers and cell phones to prevent pornographic materials from being sent to children.

You can register any email address or cell phone if you live in Utah and you either have a minor living in your home or a minor could have access to that email or cell phone.

We registered all our email and cell phones and instant messenger accounts. It's good for 2 years, and after that you have to re-register.

It was on the news, because apparently the porn industry is suing the state of Utah over it. It makes me mad that the porn industry would be angry about measures to keep porn away from children. Even cigarette companies have made their advertising less child friendly in recent years. My final argument for the ridiculousness of the law suit, is that if we can sign up to NOT have people calling our homes to sell us time shares in florida, we should be able to sign up to keep companies from sending us unwanted pornographic material.

Go Utah!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Big Race

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Today was the day. The Mr. left around 5:15 this morning for the 6:00 race. I took the kids in to watch for him finish at 8:30. His time was 3 hours and 18 minutes. I am so proud of him. He's been wanting to run more regularly for as long as I've known him, and now he's really done something that he had to train hard for. Go Mr.!!!!!

For more information on the race itself, click on the title.

He looked pretty beat when he crossed the finish line, but he wasn't bleeding, which is more than I can say about a lot of the other finishers, including his brother (who finished 20 minutes ahead of him).

You can tell how happy he feels about his accomplishment in this picture. Taken about an hour after he finished running.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Utah Amicus: Beth Holbrook

The Utah Amicus: Beth Holbrook for House District 20

She seems like a good person. I spoke to her on the phone a couple of times prior to the Davis County Democratic Convention.

Garden Update

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe garden has been neglected lately, so yesterday while the 2-year-old napped, the 4-year-old and I went outside. He rode his bike (and he is really getting good without his training wheels), and I weeded and tamed the tomatoes. There is still a lot to do, but we spent several hours outside. When the 2-year-old woke up, we sat and ate peas. Every once in awhile, he'd get one that was a little old, and would say "Yuck!".
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAs I was outside I noticed these mushrooms growing in the lawn by the tomato bed. I don't know what kind they are, so all mushroom experts can chime in. There is a row of them all the way through the lawn.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHere is one of the potato plants that I put in buckets. The other bucket has two plants in it, but they are not as big. I think I will have to start using unfinished compost to fill the buckets because the plants are growing too fast and I don't have any spare dirt. They need to be covered so that I will get more spuds. It will be neat to dump the whole bucket out in the fall and have it be filled with potatoes. This is my first attempt growing potatoes so who knows how it will turn out.

One of the neighbors is a little jealous that my tomatoes are bigger than his. He said if I get tomatoes before he does, he's sneaking over with some plant killer (I haven't thought about using anything non-organic for such a long time, that I have forgotten what the stuff is called....). He was joking (or at least he better be!). Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A few weeks ago we came home from vacation and found that the tomatoes had died. Not completely, but they weren't looking good. A gardening friend suggested that they might have early blight. I mixed up some compost tea and sprayed the plants well, It seemed to help, the plants didn't get any worse, and after I cut all the dead stuff out, they looked pretty good (a little skinny, but good). I've recently learned that while we were away, the overnight temperatures were below freezing. My tomatoes probably never had blight. Just a bit of frostbite.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Things parents do...

As a child, I remember the terror. As soon as the music was heard, I would run as fast as I could to get money. Oh, what if I MISSED THE ICE CREAM TRUCK!!!! HURRY!!!!

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My four year old asked last year what the truck was that played music. I told him it was the ice cream truck, and that it drove around to sell ice cream to children. He of course, wanted to buy...

His father and I have convinced him that buying from the ice cream truck is not smart. If you ask him "why don't we buy from the ice cream truck?" he says, "too much overhead".

The poor kid. It's not like he's missing out on ice cream or anything. I myself am a huge ice cream fan, and just this afternoon we were sitting out on the porch eating ice cream cones. That's when the ice cream truck drove by.

I felt a little guilty, as I watched the children down the street race to get money so they could buy something.

Guilty enough, that I might keep some money on hand by the front door for next time. I don't know how much popsicles are going for these days, but with the price of gas the way it is, I'm guessing they're not cheap.

Also, is it just me, or does it seem like a really bad idea to teach your children that when they hear a vehicle playing loud merry-go-round versions of christmas songs they should run out toward the street and purchase edibles from strangers? It looks like, good idea or not, I'm going to have to break down and let my children enjoy the thrill of the ice cream truck. Just not too often though, because of that overhead you know.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Since I have recently discovered a great fondness for chickens, I found this email forward funny...

The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on "THIS" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "OTHER SIDE" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his "CURRENT" problems before adding "NEW" problems.
Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens!
We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of he road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am for it now, and will remain against it.
To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
To die in the rain. Alone.
Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's why they call it the "other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side." That chicken should not be free to cross the road. It's as plain and simple as that!
In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together - in peace.
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
I have just released eChicken2006, which will not only Cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet explorer is an integral part of eChicken. The Platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^( C \..... reboot.
Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
I invented the chicken!
Did I miss one?

The Zen Mom

Are You a Slacker Mom? I must be having a slow day or something (I might be trying to avoid catching up on my filing), but I did this online quiz that popped up on a parenting website. I answered all of the questions and really, I had no idea what kind of mom it would say I was. I sometimes feel stressed out, and I am not always the most patient mother in the world, but here it is:

Your quiz results make you a Zen Mom

How do you do it? Even when explosions are all around, you are able to take a deep cleansing breath and chant your mantra "this too shall pass." You are a calming influence on your kids in a hectic world.

I think in the future, when I'm feeling less than calm, I'm going to chant to myself, "zen mom, zen mom".

Sunday, June 11, 2006

If I had an entire weekend to myself, I would...

What would you do if you have an entire weekend to yourself?

I've always liked being with my family. I like to go out and do fun things, but I have always liked doing those things with my family. This past weekend we all went camping. It rained all day on friday, and we were glad to have the little trailer to keep us dry. Saturday was a beautiful day, the kids played and rode their bikes and the Mister and I talked and did a sodoku puzzle (I haven't gotten into those before, but it was kind of fun- especially since we were doing it together- see even doing puzzles are more fun when you do them with your family).

We packed up and came home after lunch, so it was a short camping trip, but a fun one. We came home in time to clean up and my sister and her family arrived to babysit so the Mister and I could go out to dinner and a movie. We haven't done that in a really long time, so it was very nice.

Back to the original question though, what would I do if I had a whole weekend... I might soak in the tub, and condition my hair. I've found that leaving conditioner in your hair for long periods of time (while soaking in the tub) makes your hair feel really good, and we all know that having nourished hair is practically equal to having a nourished soul. I might paint my toe nails with more than the one coat of severely chipped brown paint they currently have (whoa, I could even do a clear top coat or something!!!). I might watch the whole A&E Pride and Prejudice (who doesn't love Colin Firth after all). I might spend at least some time cleaning the house. My closet and bedside table fall by the wayside when I'm trying to clean up toys and meals, so it would feel good to have "my space" organized and feng shui'ed or something. I'm sure I'd also spend some time shopping. It's really hard to shop and try on clothes with a 4-year-old who likes to race down the isles and hide in the middle of the round clothes racks and a two-year-old who is some sort of a Houdini when it comes to shopping cart seat belts. (It's times like those that make me praise online shopping with free returns if something doesn't fit right.)

At the end of a relaxing weekend of focusing on only myself and my own needs, I would race to pick up my children and squeeze them, and tickle them until their laughter was the only thing I could hear. I'd wrap my arms around my husband and let my children wiggle themselves in between us until we were a big pile of family, because that is the thing I love best.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Embarrassment at the Grocery Store

The woman in line ahead of me spent over $100 on groceries. What, you may ask, was she purchasing? Bags of lettuce, oranges, apples, strawberries, wheat bread.... there might have been a frozen pizza (not even the good kind, which makes me feel a little better). Anyway, you get the idea, it was a weeks worth of I-feed-my-family-healthy-food groceries.

Really, I normally buy healthy foods for my family. I try to have at least one or two types of fresh fruit on hand at all times. I haven't bought lettuce at the grocery store lately, because we're eating it out of the garden. I have been buying wheat bread, because it is too hot to bake (today, incidentally, would have been a great day to bake bread had I planned ahead a little).

I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I am not a health-food snob. My kids eat their share of candy (hi grandpa :) ). I even provide it sometimes. Overall, though, I try to keep their diets as healthy as is reasonable. So after watching the bags and bags of fresh produce run over the scanner, I began to feel a little guilty. My grocery cart included the following:

Pre-cooked beef sausages
Frozen hash brown patties
four bags of licorice (they were on sale, okay? I'm saving all but one for future camping trips)
a small bag of frosted animal crackers (I forgot an after-swimming treat today and the crackers were on sale)
Ice cream cones (also on sale)
a jug of orange juice (high in calcium)
a bunch of bananas

No this is not my usual shopping-for-the-week grocery list. We're going camping for the weekend, and we are in charge of breakfast and I already had eggs at home.

I'm not sure where the need to explain to everyone "why" I happen to be buying that particular assortment of groceries comes from, but I restrained myself. When the gentleman behind us was smiling at my two-year-old, he picked up the bag of nasty-shortening-dipped-bits-of-something-crunchy frosted animal crackers (after having examined my purchases with a disapproving eye, I'm sure) and waved it in front of my two-year-old's face, I restrained myself. (What was the point of that anyway? I think there's a rule about not touching other people's groceries while in line at the grocery store. If there isn't, there should be. Now the "treat" that was supposed to be for after swimming lessons was 2-year-old's number one interest. Thank you sir.)

I have found a similar, though slightly lessened, embarrassment occurs during the summer when we are eating a lot of fresh produce out of the garden. A typical grocery store trip at that time looks like this:

Boxes of cereal (or boxes and boxes of cereal if they're on sale)
Bread, if I haven't been baking it

I don't really think most people look at other people's groceries to check on their "healthiness". I am just weird that way, and really, I'm not looking at other people's groceries to be critical, but I'm waiting in line, and I've already scanned the headlines of the magazines so I'm up to date on celebrity gossip, what else is there to do in between child wrangling? You check out everyone else's groceries of course.

Just don't touch.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


It's swimming lesson time again. It always surprises me how well my 4-year-old does. He loves swimming. He passed level one his first time through. This is his second time on level two, and since he won't be doing a double session, he may need to take level 2 again before he moves on to level three.

Here are the level two passing requirements, to give you an idea of what he's working on:

LEVEL 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills
1. Exit water using ladder or side
2. Float on front & back, unsupported
3. Enter water by stepping or jumping from the side
4. Move in water while wearing a life jacket
5. Tread water
6. Explore swimming on side
7. Open eyes underwater, submerge head to retreive object
8. Perform rhythmic breathing (bobs)
9. Glide on front and back
10. Roll over from front to back, back to front
11. Swim on front and back using combined strokes, 15 ft

Here he is working on #3.
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The two-year-old and I are also taking swimming lessons. It's a parent-tot class and is only twice a week, so on the other days we get to watch the 4-year-old swim.

Two-year-old loves the water, and has no fear, which causes me some amount of fear. He'll jump in with no warning and no one to catch him. It's difficult to be near a pool with him, so I wasn't sure how this class would be. It's held in a section of the pool that is about 4 feet deep, so I'm holding him the whole time. It's much easier than if we were in a shallow area. We've been practicing "swimming" across the pool. He'll kick, sometimes do big arms, and try anything in his power to avoid floating on his back. He will blow bubbles some of the time. He's doing really well, and is having a lot of fun, although in classic 2-year-old fashion, the water is usually "too cold".

Peas Please!

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I love peas. The last several years I haven't planted enough. They never made it into the house because we (meaning I) would just sit out in the garden and eat them all. This year I planted almost a full raised bed of peas. It's a good thing too, because I am no longer the main "pea gobbler", as my 4-year-old has named us.

My 4-year-old loved peas, but the big surprise is my two-year-old. He can't get enough. He wanders over to the peas whenever we're outside, and comes back to me with a handful for me to open.

A few days ago I had picked a bucket of peas and left it on the kitchen table. I came into the kitchen to see what mischief the boys were up to (it had gotten a little too quiet if you know what I mean), and they were sitting at the table "gobbling" peas.

They really liked the salad mix from the garden too.

Maybe the tomatoes this summer will convince my 2-year-old that he really does like tomatoes... Currently he won't eat them.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Strong Drinks are not for the Belly

No, I haven't taken up coffee as a morning ritual. My garden has been suffering. Some sort of bug, or combination of bugs have launched a full scale attack. Half of the beans I planted are chewed down to stubs. My zinnia sprouts are no longer (and they were sent to me by a friend from Illinois, so I'm not happy about that). The bell peppers have been munched on a bit. Finally, the volunteer melons that had sprouted have been eaten.

One of my gardening friends recommended coffee. Those of us gardeners "in the know", know that used coffee grounds (UCG) are a great fertilizer. They can be flung about the yard, and do wonders for lawns. Well, apparently unbrewed coffee grounds work to keep bugs off of plants. I could either sprinkle the coffee around the plants, or I could "brew" some and spray it directly on the leaves. I mixed up some coffee that I have had under the sink for a couple of years (you have to love those business christmas gifts). I knew it would come in handy some day. I spent a few minutes this morning spraying everything with coffee that I brewed by dumping some in a jar with hot water and letting sit for a day.

We'll see if it works. It smells nice though, the smell of coffee brings happy memories of my great grandpa.
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Monday, June 05, 2006


I went to a "Mom's night out" a couple of weeks ago. Women from my neighborhood and my sister-in-law's neighborhood get together once month or so to visit while the dads stay home with the kids.

One of the women had brought some cookie bars that she called "Hermits". They were really good, so I got the recipe.

3/4 C Shortening
3/4 C white sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 C molasses
2 Tbsp water
3 C flour (one wheat and two white work well)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
I cup raisens (soak in boiling water and drain before adding)
1 cup walnuts
1 egg for glaze
Sugar for glaze

Cream shortening and sugars. Beat in two eggs, molasses and water, beat until smooth.
Mix together flour, soda and spices. Stir into batter and mix well. Add raisins and walnuts.
Grease two cookie sheets. Mold dough into 3 strips (about 3 inches wide). Put two on one cookie sheet and one on the other. Beat last egg and brush over top of dough. Sprinkle with 1 TBSP of sugar. Bake at 350 F in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool and cut into diagonal strips.

Now, I read "grease two cookie sheets" and thought, why would I want to use two cookies sheets? I put them all on one cookie sheet (a bun pan) and they came out sheet-cake looking. So I would recommend using one cookie sheet and not worrying about shaping them. Just mush the dough to fill the cookie sheet.
Here's proof of my inability to follow directions:
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And here are some cut into nice bars:
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