Sunday, March 20, 2011

GASOLINE AT 6.75 CENTS/gallon!!!

Three days a week, I go walking with a friend. This morning our walking conversation was about the price of gasoline. I got to thinking about an old photograph I'd stuck in the bottom drawer of my desk (do not know the year it was taken, although my guess would be somwhere in the 1930's). Now, take a look at these three people. I know for certain that the woman (far left) is my grandmother. The other two people I'm not sure who they are. Obiously, they are on some kind of road trip. I'm figuring this because the two women are wearing their go-to-town/church hats and most likely they wouldn't have wasted camera film on some ordinary outing. The gas pump  to the right in the photo looks a bit more of an antique than the one on the left with the old Marathon logo. Now, let your eyes wander up to the price of the gas (I'm hoping this shows up on my scan) The price of the gas is 6.75 CENTS/gallon!!! Is this not a hoot?! Can you just imagine what the three people in the photo would think if they pulled up to a pump today? I'm thinking they were pretty average Americans for the time, farm people, no doubt growing their own vegetables and most certainly didn't depend on the government to make up the difference. Television was still in the future and the idea of computers and the internet would've been something out of a science fiction novel. Their clothing was far from designer, And by the looks of the sweater and skirt worn by the woman in the middle, she got more than a few seasons' wear out of that outfit.

Now, back to my walking friend and this morning's conversation about gasoline prices. She told me that back in 1991, she drove a Honda CRX that got 60 miles to a gallon of gas!!! I said, "You've got to be kidding!" She then told me they no longer make the CRX. Why? Well, she didn't know, but she said it was the best car she'd ever driven.. it's 2011, and I ask you: "Why can't manufacturers design a car that gets 60 miles to a gallon of gas?? To get even close to that, we have to buy one of those ugly hybrids at a purchase price that would make the three people in the old photograph have simultaneous heart-attacks. Any thoughts?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Okay, I’m a sucker…or I was a sucker. Fifteen years ago, while waiting in a grocery line, I was reading one of those tabloids next to the cashier’s aisle. I turned to the back page, noticing all the personal ads, taking pity on all those pathetic people who put in an ad, hoping to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, who no doubt likes long walks on the beach.
Two weeks later, I put in ad in a tabloid paper!
Well, I didn’t exactly do that. Not really. Okay, what I did do was focus on ads selling recipes. Did you know people sell recipes in the tabloids?? I didn’t. But it was a WOW moment. Golly gee, I had my grandmother’s chocolate cake recipe! And if I paid for an ad, I figured with the tabloid’s two million readers, I could easily turn a profit, even with a decimal of a percent return. I’d be in the money!! (First rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)
I grabbed my grandmother’s recipe and took it to the printer and had beautiful recipe cards made up with my very special log cabin logo. Cha-Ching: $75.00. I then spent another $200.00 for a two sentence ad in the tabloid, where I charged $2.00 for each recipe card. I even went so far as to open a separate post office box, anticipating a flood of incoming envelopes with sweet little two dollar bills tucked inside each one.
Okay, the ad went in a couple weeks later. I picked up a copy of the tabloid for that week and I have to tell you, my excitement was through the roof. How could I possibly lose?? After all, how many women out there are just waiting to read the personal ad section of a tabloid to find the ultimate chocolate cake recipe??? Duh and double duh. (Second rule: If wishes were horses, then beggars could ride.)
It took about one week before the envelopes started flooding into my post box. I kid you not. The first time I opened the post box it was stuffed, yes, I said stuffed, with envelopes. Dollar signs floated inside my head. How easy was this? Lordy, I had at least twenty or thirty more recipes I could advertise and trade for cash!! I loaded everything from the post box into my carry bag, nearly breaking my neck to get back to the car and open the first envelope! At this point, I was nearly salivating with greed. I eagerly ripped open the first envelope, then another and another and another, and so on and so forth. My excitement quickly went downhill. Every envelope, and I do mean every envelope, contained a letter from someone trying to sell ME something. It was an ah-ha moment.
Now, today, here on my blog, I am giving you that same recipe!!! For FREE. So, when you make this cake, remember the lesson I learned from the tabloids: Don’t be an idiot!!! On the other hand, feel free to send me two bucks. Ah, just kidding.
IVALO’S (my Grandmother’s) CHOCOLATE CAKE
Sift into bowl:
3 cups flour 2 tsp. soda
2 cups sugar 2 tsp. baking powder
6 T. cocoa 1 tsp. salt
2 cups water 2 T. vinegar
2/3 cup oil 1 T. vanilla
Beat well. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 deg.
30 to 35 minutes
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter 3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa 1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa – alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups of frosting.