general blabber

Dear Rita Brown

I hear you thought I retired and now bake cakes for a living. Not quite…I still work full time and bake cakes for people (some who retire). In the very near future. I’d like to start baking for a fee. Probably still won’t be able to retire. ūüôā You are awesome.


The best weekend of my summer

Here is a list I wrote to mark the highlights of the 4th weekend.¬† So much fun…too much fun…thanks for making the journey and thanks for being so friggin awesome.¬†

My favorite weekend of the summer by the numbers:
10 college friends
9 kids and an occasional neighbor
5 minivans
10 beds (give or take a sleeping bag/sofa)
2,000 miles traveled there and back

2 bottles of Champaign
4 bottles of white
4 bottles of red
10 cases of beer
1 bottle Jim Beam
1 bottle Jamaican rum
1 bottle Jamaican wine
6 Mojitos

2 gallons of milk
13 pounds of beef
24 chicken thighs
3 packages of lunchmeat
1 dish red beans and rice
1 dish pigeon peas and rice
1 huge tray of jerk chicken
4 heads of lettuce
1 plate of plantains, some goat stew
4 boxes of cereal, 12 single serving mandarin oranges
2 boxes of fruit snacks
1 double batch of brownies
3 bags of chips
2 packages of bagels
1 lime green lemon birthday cake
2 jugs of orange juice
3 packages turkey bacon
3 dozen eggs
1 box of pancake mix
45 raviolis
2 bags pita chips
1 huge batch of hummus
3 zucchini’s
2 yellow squash
5 tomatoes
3 garlic bulbs
1 pound mushrooms
4 batches of popcorn
1 box rigatoni3 boxes mac and cheese
potato salad

1 broken toilet
1 plumber house call
1 toothbrush dislodged from broken toilet
4 American girl dolls take the el home
1 candy store
1 lost tooth
1 skate park
1 trip to game stop
1 trip to legoland
1 trip to IKEA
1 trip to Forest Park Pool
1 trip to Millenium park
1 trip to Lake
1 trip to Wrigley Field
1 trip to Daley Plaza
tons of fireworks in the alley
corn hole

Here are some shots of the weekend.  Will post more as I get them. 

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Oh my haunted past

These digital times have benefits. I love the fact that I can go online and shop for everything from a tiny replica of Chitty¬†Bang Bang to a new sofa. But this social media creep-me-out hunt-to-find-out-things are sometimes hard to stomach. I have been ‚Äúfriended‚ÄĚ by non-friends and then ‚Äúdefriended‚ÄĚ by them in a matter of weeks. The electronic ‚Äúwiedeling‚ÄĚ is only a fraction easier than the real life, face to face time. (to wiedel¬†someone is to stop being friends with them with no explanation, a word I made up after a friend with the name did it to me) I appreciate the ability to spy into ex boyfriends, and frenemies‚Äô lives but I have yet to find someone through Facebook¬†that has rejuvenated a friendship beyond the electronic one. We‚Äôll see though, recently I was friended by someone I had completely lost touch with. We had no falling out in our past, though I do vaguely remember something about a boy and his sweater. But regardless, fast forward to today and ironically we live in the same community. I believe I have purchased jewelry made by her at a local boutique and I am sure we know some of the same people, I mean here, it is impossible not to. We‚Äôre gonna have coffee soon‚ÄĒnot virtually.

New language new girls

Those who know me well know i can’t stand meeting new people. I know it sounds crazy but ugh…the pressure. So tonight I am super proud of myself for going out with some new folks. To say that we spoke the same language wouldn’t really be right. I returned home and had to look up schwa and French Laundry. I’m pretty sure they didn’t have to look up the word “who@!”. I laughed hard enough to hurt a bit and got watery eyed over kiddie tales. But the old song remains true….
“make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is…probably a who@!”

Random drive by

Today is valentine’s day. I don’t get too caught up in the candy and flowers, but my husband did get me a bouquet and make me a yummy stew. Nice things. As i walked the dog through the neighborhood I saw a girlfriend getting dinner ready through the window. Not to seem creepy, but I felt compelled to stop by. I walked to the front door and waited for her to answer. I can’t tell you how strange it felt to just drop in like that. She seemed happy that I did. I decided I would try stopping by another house. A little uncertain of the address I was pretty embarrassed to find it was the completely wrong house. Lisa C? I thought you were one from the corner. Regardless, I’m gonna make a habit of doing stop ins more often. I got an invite for girl’s night!! You can’t take the Hoosier out of me!

Why I don’t like the Girl Scouts

Despite what you may believe, I am NOT a crafter.¬† I enjoy and appreciate crafts that others make, but when I attempt to do something creative, it ends up in a mess.¬† I remember years ago, I bought a make your own stool kit at Frank’s Nursery and Crafts, I stenciled scrolls, flowers and¬†¬†vines all over it, sprayed it with some crap to make it smooth and attempted to put it together, but failed¬†miserably.¬† I ended up putting the unassembled stool partially sealed in a box for my grandparents for Christmas.¬† They in turn, varnished it, put it together and to this day, it is in their living room.¬† Yesterday was the kids’ school’s holiday bake sale and craft fair.¬†¬† This reminded me that¬†a ¬†few years ago I was on a bottle cap necklace making spree.¬† I got the original idea from Weener Ware.¬†¬† The process was tedious.¬† I would pull the rubber seals from the caps, cut circles, mod podge¬†them into the bottoms to seal them, let them dry, then fill em¬†up with resin.¬† But let me tell you, resin is¬†a tricky thing, the measurements¬†have to be exact, the temperature perfect, the material level, the bubbles removed.¬† This whole process killed me.¬† But, I was bound and determined to make them as gifts for my friends.¬† As I completed them, my husband mentioned he thought i¬†could sell them, they were so cute.¬† So I, signed up¬† for a table at the Irving craft fair.¬† As the day of the fair drew nearer, I toiled and toiled to make necklaces, but with limited success.¬† My resin wasn’t curing properly and the surfaces were tacky.¬† In fact if you wore one for a few hours, the fibers on a¬†sweater¬†would make the resin scratched.¬† I worked hours to re-coat¬†the surface with better made resin.¬† In all, I ended up with 50 or so necklaces.¬† I went online and priced them out and¬†decided to charge $15 each.¬† That seemed fair to me.¬† In fact, I would have charged $100 each given how much heartache they caused me.¬† The day of the craft fair arrived and I carried my necklaces and a couple of towels to lie on the table.¬† When I got there I found a group of holiday sweater wearing crafters and¬† kids who make unbelievable things.¬† I timidly put¬†my necklaces on the table.¬† The lady next to me was selling golf ball and tee poodle figurines.¬† About 10 minutes after set up, a girl scout comes over and admires my supply of AMAZING necklaces.¬† She carefully inspects a couple of them and asks how much they are.¬† I proudly say $15.¬† She smiles and walks away.¬†¬† A few minutes later she returns with some friends.¬† They continue to admire¬†the fruits of my labor.¬† Our conversation went something like this.¬†

“Do you have a table here today?”¬† I ask the girls.¬†
They say, “yes, we do.”¬†
“What did you make?” I ask.¬†
“Bottle cap necklaces.” they reply.¬†
“How much are yours?” I ask face turning red.¬†
“$5 each!” says the girl with the wicked smile.¬† They giggle and walk away.¬†

I panic and immediately B line to the bathroom and intentionally pass their table.¬† They have the Holy Grail of necklaces.¬† Theirs are smooth, colorful, and some even have little toys embedded in them.¬† I can’t believe how cool they are and I can’t believe how embarrassed I am.¬† I quickly call my husband and ask him to come and get me.¬† He has to make up a story about being on call so that I can leave and get the heck out of that crafting gym.¬† I tell the organizer that my husband got paged and I need to leave.¬† He walks into the gym and starts to wail from laughter at seeing my pitiful towel covered table with pitiful necklaces.¬† I didn’t sell one necklace that day, in fact I had to give one to the organizers and I had to pay $10 for the table.¬† But, I learned a lesson about how hard it is to commit to an idea and to finish and make a good product.¬† I am on to new things now, ones that aren’t that hard like…making wedding cakes.

Tuttle Middle school…memories….girls are mean

I remember my times¬†at Tuttle¬†Middle School to basically be horrible.¬†¬†The 8th grade is still my Horrible Meter Benchmark.¬† If is wasn’t¬†as bad as the 8th grade, then ¬†it wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to me.¬† I don’t know why I am thinking of that today, but for some reason I can’t get the image of J stepping on and getting dirty G’s brand new Tretorn¬†shoes.¬† These shoes, in case you didn’t know, were G’s favorite.¬† I believe she started a bit of¬†a trend for the Tuttle Trojans (don’t ask).¬† Can I be frank here though.¬† The shoes are pretty ugly.¬† Here is a photo I found online.¬† I don’t really see the “specialness” of them at all, except that G is my BFF and I know SHE loved them.¬† Since they didn’t sell them at¬†3D discount or Airway, I didn’t have them.¬† I was¬†¬†super mad at J for jumping on G’s shoes.¬† I am thinking of buying some Tuttle swag ¬†just to keep these memories fresh.¬† Who knew that I actually CAN.¬†

imagine these with a little fresh mud on them