Saturday, June 02, 2012

Mya Laughing

Mya, 5th Bday
She does what she wants exactly when she wants. I dig it.

Mya & Nate, 5 Years Old

Mya's 5th Bday Cake
5th Birthday Cake: white cake (dyed hot pink), buttercream, marshmallow fondant, edible pearls.

Mya & Nate celebrated their 5th birthdays today.

As usual, the festivities were held in my big sister's backyard. Mya requested this cake, a mini version of her mom's cake last year: Bianca's Cake. The icing looks a bit scraped on because my roomie ate half of it. It was down to the last 1/2 teaspoon to adhere all of the fondant flowers.

Luckily, little kids don't care about icing ridges.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Go Be

george at the bar  
George at the Bar, 31 March 2012.

Life is a lot of things. Here's a piece of it.

I've been writing a lot, and learning to tell the stories that I need to tell.
Maybe I'll start a new blog some day. :)

Go be art, baby.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds & Cat Naps

pumpkin seeds

The best thing about carving pumpkins in October is toasting the pumpkin seeds after. (Okay, maybe it's the glowing, flame filled pumpkin-bellies, and orange hot faces and such...) The other day, after a rousing gut scraping fest, we ripped out the innards and separated the seeds. Delicious snacks. :D

Toast at 250˚ for an hour (we used this to help heat the house). Melt a little butter, toss. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Toast for 20 mins. Seeds should be lightly browned & crispy.

As the weather turns colder, on those days when we forget to turn on the heat, Spike likes to climb in bed and shimmy his way into the sheets. His favorite spot is a hip-perch or belly curl. I had to lift up the blankets to photograph him, then we took a midday cat nap. The cuteness is quite overwhelming at times.

spike curled up in sheets

My dogs usually jump in my bed and drool on the pillows. There's something to be said for the delicate nature of felines, particularly when you're trying to sleep, too. (Drool pillows are a shock to the system.)

Now back to the regularly scheduled grad school crazy. (Hence weeks between posts.) Brief notes: grad school overloads are silly. Don't do that. Henry James is evil. Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan are amazing. Creative writing pedagogy goes some weird places, and abstract theory sometimes makes a person want to smack a scholar. Novel writing is as arduous as it is glorious, and isn't an endeavor for the "pansy assed," as my father would say.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last Few Days of August (28)

Mya TtV
Mya: through the viewfinder (TtV).

Mya Looks Up - August 28, 2011
Mya spinning for the camera. She adores the camera, both having her photo taken, and taking her own photos.

momo's sandy nose
Momo, age 2 & 1/2.
After playing with Mya, he decided to dig in the sand.

Mya's Pink Nails - August 28, 2011
Adorable trouble.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Adventures in Botany & Caching

The storm that blew through last night was amazing. I'm sad to say I was too sleepy to try to photograph it. My pups pushed open the door to my room and climbed in bed with me around 5:30a. It's no surprise I got a late start to the plotted geocaching adventure in Spring Grove Cemetery today.

Scurvygirl (Lauren), Goodstarbuck (George), and I met up around 3 and wandered a bit. While George sussed out his GPS issues, we took a stroll toward the rose garden, though a field of mating dragonflies (wowsers), and came upon a Hummingbird Moth feeding.

hummingbird moth

We mistook him for a baby hummingbird at first, because they look quite similar until you're really close. I'd never seen on before! Lauren sniffed out some sassafras, but further adventures in botany were curtailed by the activation of the GPS.

Our target is a multi-cache with 12 clues that lead to various points in the cemetery (and they are not shy about sending you across the thing!). There's math involved, but only simple subtraction and addition. We flopped our Lat. and Lon. a few times, but that happens. There's something to see in every section of the cemetery, so if you make a wrong turn, it becomes obvious pretty fast, with a couple of exceptions along the way. There's cool stuff to see until you figure it out.

We drove past a fawn and a doe, and nearly walked up on some bucks while searching for a "shipwreck" tombstone. Luckily, they took off instead of bambi-ramboing us. Some of the clues required reading of stones to find a clue buried in a bunch of text. Occasionally, they were not obvious. "Gone Fishing" does not refer to the most excellent lakeside monument (Charles Phelps Taft II). That is a hint from me to you. So just follow the coordinates and don't be confused when there's no lake!

We only made it to clue #8 on our chain adventure, but we're confident we can knock out the rest pretty fast, now what technical difficulties have been addressed. (Why is it so hard to find a good app that allows manual entry of specific GPS coords? Gosh!)

Be sure you bring water, because it's hot hiking around up there in the summer. The roads are more bumpy than I remember. Monuments range from plain to beautiful (very few creepy between). This particular multi-cache is a combo cache/adventure & letterbox. Stamps, ahoy!

Group geocaching is much more fun then solo caching. Plus, you have an excuse to go get pizza or Indian food after.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Cheshire Grin

This one went a bit lopsided, but it's amusing just the same. It was too hot to hang out making too many small marshmallow fondant decorations. If I had it to do over again, I'd go with a 1/4 size black and white checkerboard with green cake pops decorated with tiny red flowers... a Red Queen's garden on the chess board.

This is only my 3rd attempt at playing with this homemade fondant. Things I've learned: rolling it too thin = bad, so be sure you have enough, otherwise every flaw in the icing job underneath shows. Don't get too complicated. Simple shapes can build the look just as well as complicated ones. Don't make too many colors to start. It's exhausting. Be sure you frost the cakes before your fondant is ready to go, or it could stiffen up and crack on the edges while you wait. Be prepared for a giant mess of powdered sugar everywhere. I can't make a cake without looking I fell face first into a giant tub of cocaine.

Me and Freud, baby. Ok, it's really more like this: I MADE A CAKE.

The Cheshire Cat's grin came out exactly how my drawing did. Edible markers = win.

Happy 31st bday, Georgie.

Cheshire Grin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lazy Days

I do not see you, demon dog.

Though I was meant to bake a few cakes for a bunch of Leos in my life, it's been too hot to cook. Instead, the animals and I have been working hard on writing and revising, and hanging out in the AC (not that it works very well). Spike, pictured above, has been known to sneak into my room with one or both of the dogs. That works out ok as long as Momo doesn't get too amorous. Paco usually squishes himself onto the floor for a nap. Lively bunch, yes. Yes, we are.