Beth Siegalkoff

It’s National Blonde Brownie Day! Blonde brownie? What’s a blonde brownie, you ask? I bet most of you thought brownies were only made of chocolate. And traditionally that is true; however, a Blonde Brownie is made with light brown sugar in place of the dark brown chocolate.

The recipe reminds me of the chocolate chip cookie recipe without the chocolate chips, add coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts are my preference) instead, spread in a greased pan and baked. Frosting is optional, as well as the nuts, but who doesn’t like nuts in their brownies? Half my family – that’s who, and cut into 2-inch squares. Ta Da! – blonde brownies.

And today it is your right and responsibility to bake blonde brownies and to eat them. If you don’t have time to bake today, maybe you can purchase some and share with your family and friends. And then bake a batch this weekend. They are very tasty – especially for those few people who don’t like chocolate.

Were you able to take advantage of the three-day weekend and do a little cleanup around your home? I know we are a few months from spring cleaning, but it never hurts to clean, straighten, rake, pull a few weeds and make changes as you wait for the weather to warm up to short sleeve season.

And speaking of the weather, it seems that the fog is never ending, but if you were able to work outside in the late afternoon sunshine, it is almost comfortable. There are still storms coming, and the limited amount of sunshine feels so good, it is deceiving, makes me want to plant something. Maybe those succulents that are busting out of their pots will get their new home early.

Last Wednesday, I spent the day at jury duty, doing my civic duty. I have been regularly summoned every two years for the past 40 years. I was called for the first trial of the day, and the group of 100 of us spent the whole day in one room while the jury was selected.

I made it through to 3:15 p.m. without being selected and figured I had it made. But no! Between the two attorneys excusing some jurors and the alternates taking their places, the six alternate chairs became empty. And as luck would have it, I was chosen to fill one of the alternate chairs.

The judge asked all the alternates the same questions she had ask those in the jury box, one being, had any of us ever served on a jury before. And thankfully, I had served on two several years ago – because that was the deciding factor. The two alternates who had never served on a jury were chosen to be the alternates, and the rest of us were excused.

I was very thankful. The experience was over, and I could get back to my normal – because there is no normal in the justice system. There are always extenuating circumstances, and being part of a jury means you are deciding what happens to the rest of a person’s life. That is a heavy responsibility. And I have participated twice – I’m done. Don’t judge me wrong, I believe we all have the responsibility to do our duty and participate in our government. If we are not in the military or law enforcement, being chosen for jury duty is the next best thing. However, working at a high school with teenagers is pretty darn close.

On a lighter note, there are 337 shopping days until Christmas.

Dates to remember:

Saturday, Jan. 25 – Lunar New Year

Sunday, Feb. 2 – Super Bowl

Tuesday, Feb. 4 – Herald 4-H meeting at Arcohe School

Wednesday, Feb. 5 – Herald Community Club Hendrickson Training Center at 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 10 – Lincoln’s Birthday – No school

Friday, Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day

Saturday, Feb. 15 – Herald Fire Chili Cook-off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ivie Road station.

Monday, Feb. 17 – Presidents Day – No school, and city, county, state and federal offices closed

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.