Adventures of Logan: What CAN you do on a bus (that wont give you cancer)?

Eating Watermelons: Also not allowed on the bus.

Eating Watermelons: Also not allowed on the bus.

Logan and I took a bus to a free movie today. (Click link to find out about the free movies in your area).

Watching free movies in the big theater is our Tuesday and Wednesday routine; we run down the hill and take public transportation to the local Regal Cinemas for their Free Family Film Festival. We pack a bottle of water, some peanuts or raisins or popped popcorn. Sometimes we go to the grocery store and Logan buys a packet of Skittles. Its affordable, its a treat, its fun.

Well, its a fun treat when the bus is on-time, anyway.

The bus was 16 minutes late, which meant we were really late for the movie. Since the tickets are first-come, first-serve, this made me a bit nervous. But not Logan. No, Logan doesn’t get nervous. He gets musical.

He decided to sing a song about the bus being late. At the top of his lungs. To the bus driver and the two other people on the bus.

Logan’s songs are creative, to say the least. They sometimes rhyme, occasionally have a melody, but always revolve around being Strong, loving his Dad, and having a name that is spelled L-O-G-A-N S-M-Y-L-I-E.

Sometimes he sings about having lots of ear wax. Sometimes the song is about his desire to “never kill you.” And if those two things weren’t disturbing enough in the privacy of your own home, sometimes Logan sings about how only the doctor is allowed to touch his penis.

Today’s song on the bus, however, was even more awesome than anything he has ever composed before.

“We’re going to be late to Horton Hears a Hoo–because of youuuuuuuuuu.”

The Cancer-Patient-Impersonating, Singing-Bus-Rider Sensation, Logan. In all his glory.

I told Logan not to sing Out Loud.

“I’m not singing LOUD” he said, and sang some more.

“My Mommy says bad words–this bus has lots of germs–don’t touch anyyyy-thinggggg!!!”


“Logan, we don’t sing on the bus…” I said.

He didn’t stop. He was going for the chorus.

“You can’t smoke or drink on the bus!! Because it would bother everyonnnne!!!! And you would DIEEEEE! of CANCERRRRRRR!!!!”

This, coming from a five-year-old who looks very, very much like he may have first-hand knowledge of “cancerrrrrrrrrrr” because he is a hairless toe-head. He wanted it that way, asking the barber to shave his head and make him “bald.” The resemblance to a chemo patient didn’t dawn on me until my child–who has naturally flesh-colored hair–ran over to me right after the buzz-cut and I realized that in addition to being bald, he also had no visible eyebrows.

Yeaaaaah. Oops. Sorry about that, kid.

So in addition to the song already being annoying, it was especially disturbing coming from what looked like a young cancer patient.

“Logan. You also can’t sing on the bus.” I said firmly.

He looked at me, shocked. Like, “what do you mean the world isn’t a Broadway stage full of random acts of music and dance?”

“You can’t sing–EVER?” he asked.

“Right, honey. No singing on the bus.” I said.

“But, you can’t smoke or drink on the bus, and I’m not smoking or drinking,” he said.

“And that is good, but you also can’t sing, honey, I’m sorry.”

“Because it will give you cancer and kill you? It will make you die?” he asked. Clearly that must be the reason for not doing things on the bus: because they will kill you. With cancer. (?!?!)

“No, honey, singing isn’t going to kill you, but you just can’t do it on the bus.” I said.

“Then what CAN you do on the bus?” he asked.

I mean, if you can’t smoke, and you can’t drink, and now you can’t even sing original songs, what IS a 5-year-old on an 8-minute bus ride to do?

“Nothing, honey. Just sit here quietly and ride the bus,” I said.

“ugh. I don’t like that” Logan said, and went right back in to his song.

“We’re almost HERE! My Daddy drinks BEEEEEEER! But not on the bus because it gives you CANCERRRRR!”

I. Give. Up.

Thank God we were at the movie theater and getting off the bus at that point; I don’t think I would have enjoyed the second verse much.


Recipe: 7-layer cookies

Oh yes. This cookie will make you a favorite neice AND get you a spouse.

Oh yes. This cookie will make you a favorite niece AND get you a spouse.

This cookie is special for many reasons. First, it comes from my Aunt Carrie, who makes the best cookies, fudge and goodies at Christmas time. When I was a junior in college I finally got up the nerve to ask for her recipe. She’s kind of intimidating in her frilly apron setting a 12-foot dining table.
“Oh this? It’s easy! There’s just seven ingredients and you layer them!” she said.

…And my life was changed forever.

I went back to college and promptly made a double batch for a handsome, single fella I knew who was living in Hawaii. I was very careful to purchase a large-ish, clear rubbermaid  food container which I then lined with slices of white bread to keep the cookies moist on their week-long travels across the ocean.

When they arrived, the cookies had melted all over the bread. Matt, being a man starved of both food and attention, ate it all, including the chocolate and coconut covered bread.

I’m fairly certain that those cookies are the reason he eventually married me. Or maybe it was the chocolate and coconut covered white bread. Either way, this recipe is special to me and I hope it can be special for you, too.


1 stick of butter or margarine

1 pkg of graham crackers

1 cup choc chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 can SWEETENED condensed milk. (not evaporated or regular; those will make this cookie gross.)

Use a bar pan similar to this (if you use a large one, just double the batch), or you can use a 9×11 casserole dish.


Melt the butter in the pan by placing it in the oven at about 250 degrees. While melting, crush the graham crackers in to crumbs. Then sprinkle crumbs evenly over melted butter, they should absorb the butter mostly. Then layer the next ingredients, ending with the SWEETENED condensed milk on top. Place is oven at 325 for about 20 minutes or until the coconut is starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Let cool. Cut in to bars when cool.

Sunday, March 8, 2009: Carbonara Pasta

When I was growing up, Friday was always spaghetti night. And it was always the same: spaghetti with red sauce with hamburger mixed in. I didn’t realize you could have pasta any other way until I was an adult and saw pesto, alfredo and other sauces in the grocery store. My mind was blown.

Since pasta makes a pretty decent leftover lunch (that is how we really determine our dinners: by what is still good the next day) I decided tonight would be a good time to use up the rest of the spaghetti in the pantry. Even though I have several jars of tomato sauce, the idea just didn’t seem very yummy. So I went to my favorite recipe website,, and found a new way to make the cheap meal: Carbonara.

The recipe is easy and consists mostly of things I already have on hand (always a plus). I will need to walk to the store to pick up some bacon, Parmesan cheese and wine (an excuse to buy wine! the recipe calls for 1/4 cup…whatever shall I do with the rest of the bottle? Hmm…)


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
  3. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
  4. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.

UPDATE: Logan loved this dish so much he asked me to make it every night for dinner. Matt isn’t sure; he thinks it is too much like fried rice (because of the eggs). I’m excited to try this with ramen noodles  instead of spaghetti, forget the bacon, and add in some veggie for some super-cheap eats/fried noodle type dinner. It was really, really fabulous.

I made Deep Dish Apple Pie from scratch tonight, too, and that was a fantastic way to end the week. Logan helped me to “taste” all the apples and spice mix; he mixed the spices and also helped me roll the dough. He also helped cut vents in the top crust and painted the crust with milk for the milk-wash. He is turning in to a real little helper in the kitchen. He was so proud of that pie; seeing his pride was better than any dessert could have been.

Pantry Recipe: make veggie stock for free!