Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Most Efficient Eating Machine Alive

Sorry for taking so long to write again - it's been a crazy week.  So, surprisingly enough, the post title is not referring to my son, Sawyer.  He takes a close second.  The other night Diana and I came home from a date night (we can actually afford regular date nights here!).  As we got out of our car and walked towards the front door, Diana pointed towards the side of the house with a very confused look on her face and then exclaimed that she had seen the weirdest looking animal she'd seen since arriving - a cross between a frog and a lizard!  I was fairly incredulous, so Diana and I walked around towards the side of the house to investigate closer.  We found a frog using only three legs to hop - the fourth leg, it's right hind leg, was dangling out behind it as though it were dead.  We watched it hop a couple of times before it disappeared into the bushes along the perimeter wall, saddened by its condition and curious about what had happened to it.  And then Diana let out a small cry of pain, and then another and another.  She looked down and her feet, which were in sandals, were covered in ants which were already crawling up her ankles.  Then we looked around the driveway and realized the ENTIRE driveway was covered in ants.  We hadn't seen them because it was dark outside and our eyes hadn't adjusted quickly enough. 

We quickly took a couple leaping steps onto the porch as we simultaneously swatted at our feet and legs.  You know how when you see something creepy and crawly on you, how you suddenly feel as though there are things crawling all over you?  That's how we felt!  Creeped out, itchy, you name it!  I had shoes, socks, and pants on, and I still felt as though the ants were crawling on me and biting me!  We finished checking each other out to make sure we were clean, and then headed into the house to change.  As we walked upstairs, I could swear I could still feel them crawing on me - and then I felt them actually bite me!  I quickly went into our room and took off my pants to find ants all over my legs! 

The next morning our next door neighbor came over to advise us about the ants, which he described as West African army ants.   As we spoke, I saw that our driveway was totally clear.  Here is the Wikipedia entry:

Army ants are another species that wouldn’t be particularly dangerous individually. That doesn’t matter though, because these bad boys stick together and boy do they get nasty. Army ants are swarm raiders, hunting in massive groups above ground. They don’t have a permanent home, but move constantly as a colony. If they come across prey, they attack en masse. Pretty much anything that they come across is ripped apart piece by tiny piece with their small but powerful jaws. This includes livestock. There are legendary, and quite possibly true, tales of the ants enveloping cows, moving on a short time later leaving nothing but the animal’s picked clean bones. Finally, their cooperative nature means they can overcome almost any obstacle. When faced with small bodies of water the ants can cling together with their claws to form a kind of living bridge, which the rest of the colony can then cross as it searches for more food. An army ant swarm is one of the most efficient eating machines in existence.

So that's what Diana and I had stepped into the night before!  A huge column of West African army ants!  Our neighbor walked Logan and I around our yard - stretching across two backyards was a thick column of black ants - thousands of them!  They disappeared under the cover to the water drainage ditch.  Our neighbor said he had to detach a hive of the ants from off the second story window of his son's room!  He said last year his family was out at the pool.  His son came out to swim and stood at the gate for about one minute while he was waiting for it to be opened so he could enter the pool area.  Within seconds, he legs were covered and he was screaming from all the bites  - they had to submerge him in the pool to clean him off.  We were told the line was a couple of miles long, but that they would be gone within a couple of days - and this was a "small" column of ants.  It was pretty interesting to see, more interesting to step in!

(Sorry for all the typos when I first posted - it's very late and I was falling asleep while typing!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

African Snow Day

Every child hopes and prays for a "snow-day", when school is cancelled because of bad weather.  Growing up in California, we were never lucky enough to have school cancelled for snow, but it was occasionally postponed for fog!  The fog can get so dense in the San Joaquin valley that it is impossible to drive (at least safely).  I remember hearing about a a pile-up in 2007 involving 108 passenger vehicles and 19 big rigs.  For fog like that, school is cancelled.  Every morning at 6am we watched channel 18 hoping  our district would be on the list so we could go back to bed or watch cartoons in our pajamas. 
It seems unfair that just because there is no snow and rarely fog in Africa that the kids should be deprived the excitement of an unscheduled break.  Well, this past Friday we received early morning text messages letting us know that Nigeria does have it's own equivalent to a "Snow Day".  It's called "Heightened Security Restriction"!  Yep, a whole day vacation from learning just in case all Hell breaks loose! 
The increased Security wasn't due to a particular threat, but was a precautionary measure. It was in response to the recent protesting and violence aimed at the US Embassies in Northern Africa and the Middle-East.  As you are aware I'm sure, the invasion of the Embassy in Libya has incited other groups to participate in Anti-American Violence and protesting around the world causing us to step up security.  Luckily, the US presence in Nigeria has been exempt from any of this violence,due of course to the good leadership here, both religious and governmental. 
When security is tightened, school is closed, the Embassy maintains only a skeleton crew, and we are confined to our compound.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was a prisoner until loaded up the kids in the car to head to a nearby compound to workout.  Normally when I reach the end of the driveway a guard unlocks the gate and lets us through.  This time the guard stood blocking the exit telling me that he could not let me leave. He was visibly uncomfortable since he is usually required to do everything he can to accommodate us.  I thanked him for taking such good care of our family and turned back to the house irritated that I would not be able to exercise and suddenly regretting postponing my grocery shopping. How I wished our fridge was full of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of the dwindling leftover spaghetti from the night before. 

Two guards keeping watch outside the compound with four more inside...They usually spend their days roving the property and helping kids find stray balls.  On Friday they were more like Prison Wardens keeping us confined. 

Well, I conceded that if I was going to spend an undetermined amount of time in prison, I was lucky to have a comfortable cell and some pretty fun inmates! So, the little prisoners and I spent the day swimming, watching cartoons and chasing geckos (there are hundreds of them around...even a little Albino Lizard we named Liz). We basically did all the the stuff school usually gets in the way of.  Gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do were out of the question, giving us even more time to catch up on some much needed fun. 
Every kid needs a snow-day, a foggy-day schedule, or security   restriction every once in a while.  It adds a little excitement to the mundane.  Unfortunately I can just imagine my kids praying for massive political unrest every time they are faced with a spelling test or running the mile for PE.  Hopefully we will find a better way to get another day off soon.  One without the threat of danger and violence. 

Spending our 'Security-day' at the pool.
Can't do this on a Snow Day!!

The perfect end to a child's Dream-day!!  Banquet chicken nugget TV dinners, priced at only $12.40 each.  We splurge for quality food like pressed chicken parts and artificial cheese!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Like a Mosquito

This is Diana checking in today..

I’ve been bombarded with tastes, sounds, smells (some of them not so good) since the moment I got off the plane in Abuja 6 weeks ago and want to find a way to share all of the experiences with you.   Unfortunately I feel completely overwhelmed by the task.  I feel like any small experience that I tell leaves many more untold. To quote my ever-eloquent (slightly inappropriate) dad, “ I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony…I don’t know where to start!” So, I will just have to dig in and give you a little nibble from the happenings of this week until I figure  out a better way to bottle up our adventure and send you each a piece.…… Better yet, come visit and see for yourselves.

Always willing to spread West-Nile Virus and Malaria
First, let me expound on the topic of Mosquitoes. These nasty little blood sucker are so prevalent here in west Africa, we have to take prophylactics for the Malaria they like to carry. I take daily antibiotics to prevent malaria, and the kids and Tyson take a different medication once per week. Sunday is known as “Malaria Pill Day” and the kids loath it!!! Although they are each required to take only ½ of a pill, it can take hours to get it down the chute! The kids haven’t quite figured out how to swallow the little white, moon shaped pill without chewing it, gagging, seizing and whining. They would rather let the pill dissolve and have pools of saliva fill their mouths than take one little swallow! Each Sunday I remind the children that there is one thing worse than malaria pills………MALARIA! I’ve tried disguising the medication in applesauce, and even stuffed one in the middle of a cookie, but the kids were not fooled. So, once again, this Sunday morning was anything but “the day of rest”. Instead it was filled with the craziness of looking for lost church shoes, fixing hair (and then complaining about the hairstyle), eating breakfast, spilling breakfast, cleaning up spilled breakfast, getting church bags ready, teasing each other, and of course the dreaded Malaria Pill! My strategy this Sunday was to bribe the kids with a treat from our “Costco Stash”. The “Costo Stash” holds all the food we shipped over from Costco before we came to Africa, filling our entire pantry-room and all of the cupboards lining the kitchen. It contains enough “fruit-by-the-foot”and Capri-Suns to feed a soccer team for a very long season. The key to the Costco-stash is very literally the key to my kids’ hopes and dreams…and isn’t handed over frequently. Luckily, the kids are so motivated by American Food, that the bribe did the trick. The kids were able to choke down the pills with only moderate theatrics, followed by fruit snacks from the stash of course! “Well Played!!,” I told myself proudly, so glad the worst part of the week was now behind us.
Later that afternoon I discovered my blunder…..I hadn’t given my kids their malaria pills at all. Instead, I had treated them for any inflammation they might have had by giving them each 10mg of Prednisone each! The nurse inside of me was irritated that I didn’t do the ‘double medication check’, but the mom part of me was even more irate!!!! My lovely Sunday diner was about to be destroyed by children wailing about the unfairness of life and gagging on their real medication!!! P.S, this is not my worst mistake by far….I’m constantly nominating myself forthe“Mother of the Year” award for stunts like this!

A section of the Costco Stash....Sawyer is focused on the chocolate chips on the top row!

Abuja Traffic!
The American International School is let out early on Fridays to insure everyone can be back in their homes before prayer at the mosques. Prayer schedule is a huge reason for traffic here, and you must plan your day accordingly. You don’t want to be on the road during the rush to the Mosque which regrettably for drivers, the prayer rush happens multiple times per day. It seems as if every car, pedestrian, taxi cab, tuk tuk (the three wheeled death machine) and bus in the region converges on the city center at prayer time. Parking is scanty, so sidewalks and streets turn into parking lots. People even drive till they get stuck, then leave their cars and walk the rest of the way. The traffic hadn’t quite reached this point yet, but I knew I was in trouble. I thought I’d left with ‘plenty of time’ to get the kids from school, but now faced the realization that I wasn’t going to make it. I freaked out! The kids would be waiting for me to pick them up for gymnastics, and once traffic was clogged it could be hours. I played out all several “worst-case-scenerios”in my mind that all ended up with my two tiny kids abducted. (Laugh at my over-reactions if you want, but blond people have been known to disappear here). To make matters worse, I heard a high-pitched siren wailing behind me. Our already crowded, honking, maze of people, now had to make room for the vehicle coming through. It wasn’t just one vehicle, it was one black SUV after Another. The motorcade must have been President Goodluck Jonathan, or another high-ranking officer in the Government being escorted through the city. I just about cried in defeat thinking there was no hope of reaching the school in time....and keeping my kids a live (the worst-case-scenario had just gotten worse)! Suddenly, realizing I was also the driver of a big, black, shiny SUV, I saluted the next vehicle in line and joined the procession. The Sea of people parted as we flew through town in our matching cars escorting our official with dignity!! I smiled the entire way to the kids’ school and arrived with time to spare!

There is very little traffic in our drive-way!!




One of the Water-Cannons in place at the embassy to "cool-off" protesters.

Driving past the Embassy I made Tyson flip a u-turn so I could get a picture of the big black vehicle parked nearby in preparation for potential riots or protests. This additional security measure was due to the recent violence seen at other US Embassies around the world the last week. We explained to the kids that it looked a lot like a huge black Fire truck and was called a “water-cannon”. It was used to spray water at very high pressures. We were fairly vague with our explaination, not wanting to excite and scare our kids with the mental images of protesters being blasted off the Embassy lawn by pressurized water, but Logan persisted. “Is that in case a protester sets the Embassy on Fire?” He asked. To which Tyson hesitantly answered that it wasn’t to be used on fire, but was meant to be used on people. We were confident that little Logan grasped the ugliness of the truth until he responded, “Oh, that makes sense”, he said “It’s a good way to keep protesters cool cause it gets really hot here in Africa!”
I have a list of a hundred more things to share, so Just like those thirsty blood sucking mosquitoes, I will have to make my way through them one at a time. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Request for Ideas

I thought it would be interesting to find out what our friends and family are interested in hearing about.  So instead of you only reading about what Diana and I feel inspired to write about, give us some ideas!  Add a comment to this posting and we'll start blogging about them.  Of course we'll have our own ideas, but we thought this might make it a little more interesting for the 10 or 12 family members/friends out there reading this blog.

Blessed to be Here

This is Tyson.  We apologize for not updating everyone earlier about the security status here in Nigeria - bad weather knocked out the internet connection for a couple of hours.  Let me start off by saying everything here Abuja is fine.  When we accepted the assignment to Nigeria, everyone who heard about the assignment immediately expressed concern for our well-being because of the unstable security situation here in Nigeria and the perceived propensity for violence due to Boko Haram.  I have to say, today I feel pretty blessed - out of all the countries in Africa with large Muslim populations (Nigeria's Muslim population is approximately 50%), I feel very blessed that my family and I are in this one. 

All day I spent reading updates about the violent protests throughout northern Africa and the preparations being made all around Abuja and northern Nigeria for possible demonstrations.  And then the Regional Security Officer informed me that the regional Muslim religious leaders (Imams) were urging Muslims throughout the country to NOT demonstrate.  Instead, these leaders were urging peace.  While there were rumors of possible demonstrations in various cities in Nigeria, the day ended with NO demonstrations/protests anywhere in Nigeria (at least none I was aware of).  While part of the peaceful day can be attributed to the preparations of the Nigerian security services, I would have to give a large portion of that credit to the Muslim religious leaders who preached peace, tolerance and understanding.  What a blessing to be in a country with good leaders who understand that one man's stupid, ignorant actions are not indicative of how an entire country views Islam. 

Obviously, the security situation could change here - obviously there are men who will take advantage and exploit the circumstances for their own ends.  But tonight I feel blessed to know that the efforts of good men of all faiths prevailed.   

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sad Day

Today, Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed along with three others in a rocket attack outside the American Consulate in Benghazi.  Ambassador Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979, when Adolph Dubs, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was gunned down in a kidnapping attempt.  Supposedly, the attacks were perpetrated by  protesters apparently angry over a film they say insults Prophet Muhammad.  However, U.S. officials believe that the attack may have been planned by a group that had either been waiting for an opportunity to exploit like the protests over the video or perhaps even generated the protests as a cover for their attack.

Within a short time, Diana and I started getting emails and texts from friends and family (not my family, though - thanks a lot guys!) worried about the security situation here in Nigeria and our safety.  As we've seen over the past few years, protests can quickly turn into violent riots which can topple even the most seemingly stable regimes.  Unfortunately, in this case, the riot resulted in the death of four men who had been trying to do nothing more than make the world a little better . . .  in a peaceful, diplomatic way. 

Diana and I have both been asked why we chose this job, this lifestyle, and, most definitely, this location.  We received this question so often because when people make life choices that are perceived as out of our ordinary, the natural thing to do is to try to understand.   I usually opt for questioning their sanity. While I did not request to be assigned to Nigeria, I did choose to accept the assignment. And Diana chose to support me. My guess is a lot of people have questioned our sanity – especially mine.  I won't speak for Diana (she can answer the question of "Why?" herself - and much better than I can), but I will say that my very long and boring answer is summed up very succinctly in one of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I have always believed that, regardless of our religious affiliations, our political leanings, our ethnic or national ties, we each have opportunities in life to be engaged in work that will help to improve society.  Some of us are called to affect dramatic, widespread improvements.  Others may only bring to pass seemingly small changes within our small circles of influence.  I am definitely of the latter group.  So, while I may not be the harbinger of all that is good to the masses of the earth, I can plant and cultivate the seeds of goodness wherever I am.  We all have our unique way of doing this.  The only question is, are we going to step into the area and try. 

So, while today we mourn the loss of four men, we do so knowing that they died while striving valiantly in a worthy cause.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sparks were flying...

Saturday morning at the Woodruff House was spent experimenting with electricity.  I didn't do anything crazy like fly a kite in a storm, I just ran on our treadmill at alternating speeds while Tyson randomly cut the power.  If I survived the unexpected jolt induced by the yank of the cord, then we tried it again at a faster speed.  We did this until I was running too quickly to stop unexpectedly without smashing my face on the treadmill display.  This sounds a bit insane I'm sure, but I had to know how fast I could run on our treadmill while experiencing an unexpected power outage.....These random outages happen daily and without warning.

Tyson relieved that he is the one pulling the cord rather than running on the death trap!
In  fact, several times per day (anywhere between 5 and 30 times), the electricity goes out.   We are blessed to be on a back-up system that kicks in almost immediately during an outage so we only have a second or two in darkness.  When it powers back up you can resume cooking, reading or watching your show with only a moment's interruption.  No big deal, right?!!  Well, I've discovered that it is a big deal when a few seconds without power can mean slamming into the treadmill display.  Yep, That's my biggest fear here in Nigeria!  Knocking out my teeth while running during a power outage and being forced to have dental work performed in an outdoor clinic.  Yes, that is more concerning than food quality, gas shortages, and political unrest....have you ever seen an outdoor dental clinic?

The past few weeks I've been too anxious about the "worst-case-scenario" described above, to do anything other than walk on our treadmill, until Tyson agreed to perform this experiment with me.  He was sweet enough to go along with it, knowing it would ease my mind (and hopefully show me how badly I was over-reacting). 

The theme of my outdoor dental clinic! 
I was hoping to find that when the power was cut, the treadmill belt would slow down giving me a few steps to catch myself.  This was not the case.  When the power was cut, the belt screeched to a halt abruptly, propelling me forcefully forward.  It took all the balance, agility and luck I possessed to maintain an upright position.
Realizing my defeat, I continued walking on the treadmill as I announce to Tyson that I would no longer  be using it to run.  "You're being irrational!" He teased. "Just use common sense and you shouldn't have any problem running on the treadmill on a day like today with clear weather and sunshine.!"  I responded that the weather had nothing to do with the electrical situation here.  This was Nigeria, and the electricity did whatever it wanted!!  Tyson shook his head and walked away just as the power flickered, and I screeched to a halt barely catching myself.  We both had a good laugh about it, and if I were any less of a perfect wife I would have said, "I told you so!"
In anticipation of the electrical situation in Nigeria, we shipped over  4 huge (and quite costly) machines called Uninterrupted Power Sources. They are better than generators because they keep the electricity going without any hesitation. We bought the machines for the sole purpose of keeping important things like computers, treadmills etc running during an outage.  Unfortunately, they don't work here. Every time we plug one in, it alarms that the house has faulty wiring and isn't grounded.  I'm no electrician, but I'm pretty sure that isn't good.
Electrical outages are so common place here, that no one even seems to notice.  While at a grocery store the other day, the entire place went dark.  My kids and I were the only ones who seemed to mind. They shrieked and huddled close to me while everyone else continued to shop by the light of their cell phones...or lighters (that's safe!).  The people in line were halted because the cash registers no longer worked, but everyone waited patiently for minutes until the power was restored and business could carry on as usual. It was a total non-issue and no one seemed put-out or inconvenienced at all by the situation. 

While at this grocery store, I spent some time doing a little browsing.  I'd been warned about the frozen food section and I wanted to see it for myself....  Picture what the inside of your freezer would look like if it was left open and then randomly unplugged up to 30 times per day at varying intervals.  I'm making you salivate for leathery pork-chops, freezer-burned veggies and drippy Popsicles aren't I?  Seriously, it was horrific! I wonder what the health department would have said about the pool of defrosted Turkey blood dripping through the side of the cooler.  Next time I'm near the freezer department I will take a picture of the forsaken frozen meats so everyone can enjoy the image that is forever (Freezer)burned in my mind.   That is, if I can keep my gag-reflex under control long enough to get my camera out. 
The rest of the frozen section looked fine, but the damage can't be thouroughly assessed through a package.  Things like ice-cream have to be taken home before a complete inspection can be done.  By then, it could be too late!

The yellow price tag above says N3699.00.  That means the Blue Bunny Ice-cream is roughly $23.15. The Price  of Ben and Jerry's was a Kidney!  I hope the freezer burn is worth it!

What the Frozen Food lacks, the bananas more than compensate for!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some serious dough...

 Everywhere I look there are peanuts .  They are sold on every street corner here in Abuja, and even by vendors weaving through traffic.  You can get them either roasted and packaged in empty Rum bottles, or Boiled in their shells.  Either way they will be balancing on someones head until  purchased.  With all of the peanuts everywhere, I'm dumbfounded that no one here has decided to grind up a few of them into a paste and make some peanut butter!   Seems simple enough since I remember doing this in my Kindergarten class with 20 other five year olds.  It's just one more thing about Nigeria that I just don't get (I will make a list of the others later).  Seriously, Peanut butter is a rare commodity here, generally just used by people like me....foreigners.
Young Peanut Vendor we met this weekend...
He followed us around watching Sawyer play Batman
Roasted Peanuts are sold in old Liquor bottles...
because there are plenty of old liquor bottles.

Alexis and Logan buying Boiled Peanuts from a really sweet
peanut vendor.  N50 (30 cents) can buy a whole bag of them!
 My family depends on peanut-butter.  It is it's own food group at our house.  PB is consumed for breakfast in Tyson's protein shake, It makes it's way between two pieces of bread in the kid's lunch boxes, and eaten by the spoonful by our little chubby Sawyer.   Unfortunately, our stock of Crunchy Jif we brought with us from the US has dwindled rapidly leaving us to either do without, or pay whatever insane amount of money we are charged. 

The dough that costs some "serious dough"
Since there are few that bring Tyson more joy than eating peanut butter (especially when accompanied by chocolate),  the decision is simple. Buck it up and pay whatever you have to pay to keep that smile on his face, and my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are the easiest way to do that!

So, the other night, I made a batch of Tyson's favorite cookies, and for curiosity's sake, kept track of the cost of each portion of each ingredient so I could get an idea of the cost of one batch of these cookies!

Here goes.
I used
1 1/2 cups Peanut butter.......
-Peanut butter is mainly used by foreigners here, so it comes at a price, and that price is (calculated for the 1 1/2 cups I used.)..$11.49

2 Cubes of butter...
-We had butter shipped from the US in a Refrigerated shipping container.  That's the best way to insure that it has been pasteurized etc.   We spent $112 on 10lbs of butter.  So, two cubes would be a little over... $6.

2 1/2 cups Brown Sugar....
-Finally an ingredient I had the foresight to ship from Costco ahead of time.  Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!!

1/2 cup Milk....
-The Soy milk that came in our Frozen Shipment ended up costing $23 per quart!  Yes, it is being strictly rationed, and might be wrapped up as birthday gifts for the kids! 

- Made do without!  This isn't Mexico, the land of fragrant Vanilla in gallon size bottles. 

2 eggs...
-I am seriously considering buying a chicken... or snatching one of the stray, featherless ones I've seen walking around town.  A flat of  18 eggs costs N1800 or about $13.  That makes my precious eggs $0.72 each... $1.44 total

3 1/2 cups Flour... 
-The flour aisle at the grocery store had me stumped!  There was Corn flour, Yam flour, potato flour, Yam Starch, and a few other flours that I had no idea existed!  Where is "normal flour"?  Finally I found a mysterious, unlabelled bag of white powder.  It was among the other "flours", so I took a chance that it was good old fashioned white flour!  I hope I was right!.... $5.40

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
-Luckily I had packed these with my household items and had them on hand!!!

Chocolate chips...
-Chocolate chips arrived in our frozen food shipment for $8.20 per 10 oz bag! I am treating each morsel as if it is an entire Hershey's Kiss. Ya, 8 bucks is a lot, but what would you pay when you are in desperate need of Chocolate???

So, how much is batch of Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookies worth in Nigeria?.. ....$35.09!

The Smile on Tyson's face when he bites into the warm peanut-buttery goodness..PRICELESS!
They were pretty good...but a little different than normal.  I'm blaming it on the Flour!