cake lover?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

i'm a star!

i've been getting a bit of video press lately all because of my very good friend eva sollberger and her amazing technical skillz. fun fun.

here's last week's NASA presentation: 

and FlynnArts' teen/adult dance showcase: (if you haven't joined facebook yet, what the heck are you waiting for?)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

extra extra, read all about it!

for mom, dad, and the other non-facebookers out there: my side business, let them eat cake, was featured in last week's seven days! read all about it here: single serving.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

an apple a day

what's better than finding half a worm in your apple?

finding a whole worm so you can photograph it and share with the world that you actually did once in your life have an apple with a worm in it.

because seriously, how many people has this truly happened to?

today, i consider myself lucky. also: consider this logic: because there was a worm in my apple i had to go get myself a peanutbutter chocolate chip cookie from the red onion. what else was i to eat for my 5 pm snack before dance class? surely there was not enough time to run to city market for another piece of potentially infested fruit!

Monday, September 21, 2009

how does our garden grow?

given that i've had this post in my head since, oh say, april, and that i've been taking photos of our garden all summer long, and that fall is upon us, i'm finally getting around to posting about our green thumb (thumbs?). truthfully, i've been stuck on the title -- i wanted something like mary, mary quite contrary, but paulie, paulie, quite the dolly, or suzie, suzie, quite the floozy, just weren't rolling off the tongue.

remember back in march when warm & sunny days were nowhere in sight and i posted about planting some seedlings and demanded spring to spring? well, here is how our garden grew:

first came the lettuce:

then came the sugar snap peas (my favorite):

then came the teeniest carrots and garlic and onions that you ever did see:

then came the tomatoes that seemed like they'd never turn to red, though they eventually did:

and then came the day when paul was tired of throwing out garbage that dripped & i was tired of not having a garbage disposal -- the very same day that we decided we might as well start preparing some soil for next year's garden.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

martha stewart wannabe?

about a month ago when i was perusing the "internets" for lemon chiffon icing recipes, i came across a lovely blog called the tender crumb. she had amazing pictures of the delicious things she had baked as part of her membership in a club called "Tuesdays with Dorie." a visit to TWD introduced me to about 50 other sites and bloggers (mainly women) who have gorgeous blogs dedicated to baking. each week these women bake the same item from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook and share their insights, tweeks, mishaps, & ideas. they are baking their way through her cookbook! at first i thought these women were crazy -- who has time for this? but i was strangely intrigued and found myself checking their sites almost every day. paul was nervous. and then i watched julie & julia and was inspired. could i too follow my dream and become a baker and a blogger, and perhaps get my own book deal? i mean if jen of cakewrecks did it by posting ugly cake photos and adding snarky comments, then why can't suzanne "Q Monroe" lowell, of let them eat cake do it?

i caved. i joined one of those baking blog clubs! the one i joined is a bit more manageable for my crazy life. it's called the martha stewart cupcake club. in this club, we bake one recipe a month from martha stewart's new cupcake book (which is very cool). i'm already a bit behind though! i was supposed to bake zucchini spice cupcakes and post pictures and my baking tale by yesterday the 15th. i have a very good reason why i am behind though...

i am being hired for my very first wedding! i baked all day sunday -- 4 different recipes -- 2 different cakes -- 3 different types of frosting! that topic deserves a blog post of it's very own. which is coming soon. with pics.

but this post is just to apologize to my new blogworld friends -- i'm sorry i haven't posted or baked the zucchini spice cupcakes yet. please don't kick me out of the MSC club! i promise i will catch up.

for now, if you're interested, check out the MSC blogroll and visit all of these bakers' sites -- they are incredible.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

knight island

our camping shopping list looked like this: "coffee, white gas, & macncheese." our remember to bring next time list looked like this: "spray-in conditioner, camping chairs, & coffee."

hurricane dan was hot on our heels, and it was windy and wet, but we made the most of it. it was a very lucky weekend indeed. i spotted a garden snake, paul caught two fish, & we didn't capsize (but check out the size of some of those whitecaps!).

this is our second year in a row at knight island. the island is a remote little spot east of north hero, up near st. albans. there are only 7 campsites, each with their own lean-to, picnic table, firepit, & composting toilet. we had a sweet little spot right on the water and the blustering winds held the bugs at bay. the sites are spread out over the 185 acres and it feels like you're the only one there. except of course for ranger steve (paul's new idol).

ella & sierra had a blast, though they weren't that keen on the cleaning up part.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

deep in the heart

howdy m'darlins! i'm melting here in san antonio where it was almost 90 degrees at about 7 am for the 5K i ran in this morning. the news predicted the temperature would be 100 degrees by 5 pm. we go from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned car. apparently in texas, the colder your A/C is, the richer you are -- that goes for trucks too -- the bigger it is, the better you are. hm, interesting status symbols you have texas.

i'm here for a computer conference through my work, and am thoroughly enjoying staying in a fancy hotel right on the riverwalk with my colleague leigh. the flynn sent me to tucson two years ago for the annual tessitura conference, which helped me break the surface of understanding our intricate database system that we use to keep track of constituents. this time around, i feel like i've got a snorkel and mask, and can now see at least 20 ft down. i'm not a computer geek, i swear, though i'm sure most of the computer geeks here claim that too...

i came to san antonio back in 2003 when my friend sarah got married, but didn't have much time to explore with all of the wedding festivities. last night was "on your own in san antone" night (tessitura is all about the puns and catchy phrases), so leigh and i headed out to "el mercado," the mexican markets where brightly painted pottery, sombreros, & those wooden croaking frogs abound. we had a feast at mi tierra, the classy mexican restaurant pictured above. we sampled the requisite margaritas, and just barely managed to avoid eye contact with the men who were attempting to serenade any table that would listen.

next we hit the alamo. nothing notable to say about that because we all remember it, don't we? it's small. it's adobe like. there were horse drawn buggies hoping to snag the next willing tourist. the flag wouldn't quite cooperate for the picture because there is no breeze here.

we walked up & down the riverwalk hoping for some relief (quintessential photo below). leigh searched for hot sauce for her husband, while i searched for the perfect cowboy hat for myself. you can't see the many hats i donned because all of the stores had signs up that clearly read "no taking pictures with hats." i still haven't found the right one -- perhaps tonight, our last night on the town. i only wish i could afford a matching pair of cowboy boots with spurs.

it's nice (sortof) to visit (ok, not really), but truthfully, i would never ever in my right mind want to live here. don't tell texas that though, you know what they say about messing with it.

can't wait to get to my home sweet home vermont.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

get ready...

after 3 months of paying two mortgages, paul & i are finally down to only one! which means we just might be able to handle another bill. which means that today we are getting cable & internet! just in time for baseball & the world series. just in time for me to finally write down all those stories and to showcase all the pictures i've been planning on sharing. hold on to your hats folks -- somethingsomething is a-coming!

Friday, July 31, 2009

tooting my horn

i have played the clarinet since i was in fifth grade. mrs. poupoure was kind of mean, but for some reason, she liked me, and though i hated practicing at times, i really have always loved playing, and i was actually kind of good at it. i played through high school and even played in the orchestra in college for a few semesters. i have anita kinsley's old clarinet that jen (her daughter & my best friend) played until she couldn't stand it anymore, because jen disliked mrs. poupore just about as much as mrs. poupore disliked jen). we had these practice sheets we had to fill out with the times & days of the week we'd practiced. we were expected to play for at least 30 minutes, 6 days a week, and we had to have our parents sign the sheet to prove we weren't just making it up. my mom would never sign it if i'd put in some fake practicing hours. luckily, my dad sometimes would.

anyway, the fact that i play the clarinet has escaped most people in my present life, simply because, i don't play the clarinet anymore. in fact, my boyfriend did not realize i played the clarinet until about a month ago -- though, he's not always one for details...

about 3 months ago, when my boss was putting together this year's FlynnArts' summer teen musical, "Once Upon A Mattress" (the most interesting tale of the Princess & the Pea you may ever hear), I piped up and volunteered to play in the orchestra. it was sort of like the double dog dare i have to give myself when i sign up for a race -- better start running or else. better start practicing or else...

I brought my clarinet to work, planning to pop upstairs to the music studio on free moments to start getting my chops back in shape & to familiarise myself with various scales and fingerings again. i should have had mrs. poupore's time sheet...

of course i did not start practicing until 3 weeks before the show. the music was difficult to say the least. 5 or 6 sharps in the key! and runs that my fingers and mouth could not keep up with! why why must they write D# when it's really an Eb? Someone who knows a little bit more about music theory could answer that question.

but the show went great -- it was hilarious, and the orchestra didn't sound half bad either (the flute covered the runs). i was happy to be a part of it and happy to be part of the flynnarts program. surprise, surprise, i have actually been liking my day job.

though, i still like my night job better -- i made this cake for the cast. i was really so impressed with their dedication and maturity. wish you could have seen the show!
for the most up-to-date photos of my cakes, check out let them eat cake's facebook page & become a fan...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

what have we done to anger you so?

on friday i got my first black eye. my sister's boyfriend's dog, philo (like the dough and the mountain) jumped up to greet me and bonked me with his rather large nose. i held in the tears this time.

as were were heading to bed in the loft of my grandparents A-frame log cabin, i asked paul if he was sure he wanted to sleep on the inside. sleeping on the inside means that there are one and a half feet between you and the slanted roof. i reminded him that i'd been sleeping in the loft at star lake all my life and that i was very used to sleeping in an A-frame. he scoffed at me and assured me that he too had experience sleeping in an A-frame. Not 10 minutes later did one of the dogs bark, causing paul to sit straight up, bonking the bridge of his nose. the whole cabin shook.

with the egg on his forehead and the shiner on my face, one might question our domestic situation...

Friday, June 12, 2009

32! 32! 32! 32! 32!

when my very best friend colleenie turned 30, her mother-in-law cut out 100 colleen faces and stuck them on paint stirring sticks. when colleen walked into the room for her surprise party, she stared at a room full of herself wishing her a happy birthday.

i missed the party because my sister was supposed to be giving birth any second. but i saw colleen the very next weekend and was given a souvenir from the big bash.

i put it on my dresser and ella barked & growled at it. i had to put it in the corner behind the curtain. when josh was helping me move he nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw it.

i can't throw colleen's face away. it's too funny. it's a conversation piece. and for the moment, it's in my bag of halloween costumes.

paul does not understand why we need to keep it. he also does not understand why i have to have a bag of halloween costumes, or why i have to keep a bag of gift boxes. i think my stuff might be overwhelming him just a little.

yesterday paul woke up and he was a 32 year old. a very grumpy 32 year old. i'm not sure if it was all my stuff cluttering his house, the fact that he was a year older, or that he was scared that he'd matched up with a packrat.

i did my best to make him happy. i think it worked.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

oh the week i've had!

sunday, 5/31:
a: killed my car's battery.
b: took my cell phone for a drag in the lake

wednesday, 6/3: woke up to bunny screams. saved a bunny from my cat (more on the fact that i even have a cat later).

thursday, 6/4: fell out of the boat while disembarking, onto a rock, smack on my tailbone. tears ensued.

sunday, 6/7:
struck a deer at 5 am, driving home from the mansfield, ma phish show. waited in lebanon, nh till 9 am when the car rental place finally opened.

will my luck ever turn around?

Monday, June 01, 2009

not karma this time, just plain stupidity

two things you need to know for this story:

1. when i was a little girl my grandparents nicknamed me wifty, for i was always forgetting, losing, or misplacing something and had a general spaciness about me.

2. this saying: "if you don't like the weather in VT, wait 5 minutes" and this illustration by dug Nap:

yesterday was truly a VT weather day. it really did do almost all of those things -- sun, hail, rain, sleet, rainbows, freezing cold temps, then really hot temps.

during a sunny part of the day, i took a quick car ride and left my windows rolled down.

during a rainy part of the day, i ran to my car to roll the windows up.

during a cloudy part of the day, i decided to get a nice cool run in. this is when i realized i had left my keys in the ignition and the ignition turned on. my car was dead.

during a sunny part of the day, while my car was hopefully recharging itself (no such luck), i went for a kayak. it threatened to be windy, and to possibly rain, so this smarty pants put on her windbreaker and stuck her phone in her pocket.

during a warm part of the day, while huffing and puffing carrying my kayak to the water, i took my windbreaker off and wrapped it around my waist.

during a windy part of the day, while i was huffing and puffing and paddling into the wind, i realized that something was dragging in the water. it was my cell phone pocket.

during a very very windy, so windy part of the day that lake water was splashing into my kayak, i took my cell phone apart and tried to dry it off. and then, for safe keeping, i zipped the 3 pieces of my cell phone into what i thought was my very secure pocket, when in actuality, it was my pit zip (mind you, the jacket was still wrapped around my waist, so it was hard to tell what was what, but seriously wifty, don't you think you should have double checked, considering your first two mishaps of the day?).

during a rainy part of the day, as i was pulling my kayak up onto the beach, my neighbor called to me that i had just dropped something. and so, during that rainy part of the day, i retraced my steps and luckily (yeah right) found the other 2 pieces of my cell phone that had fallen out of my pit zip, nestled safely in the grass.

then, during another rainy part of the day, my next door neighbor kindly helped me jump my car.

during a sunny part of the day, danielle & i decided to go get a drink and sit outside on church street to enjoy the sun (though i had to drive over to make contact & this plan with her because i still don't have internet at the lake and as you very well know, my cell phone was out of service). it started hailing on my way over, but i was way too frustrated at this point to go home to cover our tomato plants!

during a windy windy windy, so windy part of the day that i could not see through the wreck that was my hair, danielle & i were nearly blown over and had to cancel our outside drink plans and settle for pho hung.

during a rainy part of the day(time) of the night, i watched silly british tv with eva and enjoyed some hot tea and popcorn, cozy in her house away from the wet whistling wind.

the weather pattern continued late into the night. i came home to find a very large tree branch on the front yard and i couldn't even call anyone or take a picture and send it to someone (who was seeing a rainbow over Phish @ Fenway...)

p.s. sadly, the purpley-pink phone with the very fun ringtones is dead as a doornail. i've got my trusty silvery-grey cracked old phone working now though.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(sung to the tune of chameleon by boy george) karma karma karma karma karma come on karma, you come and go, you come and go oh oh

i got pulled over last week.* i got yelled at at work.** i got in a huge yelling screaming crying fight with a guy on my condo association. i’m moving, i’m stressed, and things just don’t seem to be going my way. i’ve vowed to be a better person and a harder worker. i am trying, i just can't figure out why karma is biting me so hard in the butt.

this is the saga which i hope to have a happy ending for soon (or at least one i can live with): paul and i decided to move in together! hooray (a whole story about how we are even back together possibly coming soon). i put my place up for rent and of the 6 people/couples who saw the place, only one couple pursued the rental application – a young couple with two dogs (a saint bernard named kitten, so must be sweet as pie, right? and a beagle named fiona who likes to sleep on top of kitten, so they must be well-behaved dogs who get along smashingly with no barking, right?) i let my last roommate get a dog and wrote a quick note to the association that there was now a second dog in 10 hideaway lane. i heard nothing so assumed this procedure was the correct one.

come may 5 when i’m trying to follow all the correct procedures in being a landlord and inform my association of the four new tenants (12 legs in total), i’m told that the second dog must be approved by the board. request and appeal both denied by may 20. 11 days for me to find new renters and for kitten, fiona, and their owners to find a place that will let them all live.

do you think it’s fair that out of the 22 units in my association there are only 3 board members? do you think it’s fair that 2 of the board members live in my building? do you think that the wording of the by-laws, “a second pet must be approved by the board,” implies that a second pet is a possibility?

scene: board member one is pulling out of hideway lane, i am pulling in. we both roll down our windows and he informs me that the association has instructed him not to speak to be about the matter any further. “the association will handle me from there on out .” which means what? they will sue me if I let the renters move in? they will fine me? it’s my friggin’ house,” (i didn’t say friggin’ or any other expletive, after all, i am a lady), which board member one loudly reminds me that “it’s not just mine, we all share the building.” i try to appeal to his compassionate side (which i don’t think exists): “but they have no where else to go.” this does not budge his decision that only one dog be allowed per unit. and anyway, “this issue isn’t his problem, it’s mine, i’m the one who didn’t follow procedures in a timely process, and he would never do anything to put himself in jeopardy of being split from his dog, and he also was tired of wasting his valuable personal time on this matter.” to which i replied, “well you’re the one who chose to be on the board,” and then i said some other emotionally, irrational things and burst into tears. (i called later to apologize, after i called fiona & kitten’s parents to tell them they’d been evicted even before they’d had a chance to move in).

so, i’m looking for new renters, with only one pet allowed (though maybe they could be annoying in some other way that doesn’t go against association by-laws, so that my neighbors still won’t have peace & quiet). oh well, the board members can enjoy their little condos while I bask out here in the sun on the lake where my dogS can run free. i’m not bitter.

but see, that’s where karma creeps in. how to be a good person, try to do everything right, get bitten on the butt, and then not want retribution for that? but then I need to remind myself that i’ve hurt others in other ways, and life hasn’t always been fair for other people when it has been for me. an eye for an eye, a heart for a heart. not one of the golden rules.

i just hope fiona & kitten’s parents find a place soon… (because I felt so terrible I told them they could live at hideaway lane FREE for the month, without one dog that is, until they find a new place). anyone know of a place where two dogs can stay? anyone know of anyone who needs a place to hideaway?

how's your karma? it comes and goes for me.

craig's listing:

* amazingly, i only got a warning.

** i'd asked for permission to use flash photography and received it, and then got yelled at by someone else not to use the flash. get your stories straight people.

Monday, May 25, 2009

3.1+5.6+6.4+5.5+5.6=26.2 & 13.1+13.1=26.2

ah, VCM 2009. that’s the start of summer for my family. we’ve been participating in the marathon since about 2005 and our numbers have been increasing ever since.last year, jennie and julie trained for their respective parts of the half together, but didn’t like not getting to run together. So, this year, they enlisted the collins brothers to run the other half of their halves, so they could run together.
team j squared

team two young lovers with nothing better to do (10 points for song & artist)

derek split the marathon with his younger brother jeremy, and although they both had very different training strategies, they finished well. derek is the only runner i know who smiles while he’s pounding the pavement. yesterday he had more of a determined facial expression and didn’t even acknowledge us when he ran by us at the waterfront coastguard station. His determination paid off and he came in at about 1:20.
The less daring (stupid? masochistic?) members of my extended family chose to split the 26.2 miles five ways. lynn (derek’s mom), danielle (derek’s sister & my good friend), stephanie (jeremy’s wife & my childhood friend), chris (derek’s best friend & my former swim teacher), and i each ran a portion of the marathon. it was a rainy day, which i preferred for my 5.6 miles, though the spectators weren’t as keen to get soaked. baxter, paige, emma, marg, jon, and alan were fair weather fans and chose to spend the rainy morning napping and playing indoors, and left soon after the starting whistle blew. paul, the super spectator stuck it out on his bike and made sure to place himself at prime cheering locations. before i ran my leg, i asked bax for any strategies he might have. he had run his first race on Saturday – the YAM (youth athletic movement) scram for ages 4+. he ran his .5 mile race with the same determination and facial expression as his father (who may or may not have had tears in his eyes when he pinned his sons bib on). the proud parents ran with their son, and the proud aunt suz looked just like she did in the birthing room – camera in one hand, video camera in the other, racing from one side of the loop to the other for a glimpse.
baxter’s advice was this: run really fast, pass as many people as you can, and have lots of people behind you. i tried my best. he also fueled me up with power kisses and a great big power hug, and i did just fine, though there were plenty of people ahead of me (but plenty of people behind me too).
carb loading with strawberry waffles before his grueling .5 miles

there were 11 runners total in our contingency (though tim, jeff, & julie are missing from our photo because however fast those collins brothers run, they are slow slow slow and didn’t make it to our group photography session in time).
timmy tim, wearing hiking shorts, no less

paul and i hosted the annual carb-loading, pasta dinner this year at his (almost ours) place on lake iroquois.

penne pomodoro, garlic bread a la julie & tim, and salad & rhubarb crisp a la derek’s garden, fueled us for Sunday, and the after party at jennie & derek’s (featuring beer can chicken and mom’s famous turtle nut cake) helped us replenish all the calories we’d burned.

tidbits that you hopefully didn’t miss: the woman who came in under 3 hours who had poop running down her legs, the bloody nipples of many of the men (jeremy tried his best to stop the rubbing, but it was hard to run 13.1 miles holding his shirt away from his chest), and the portapotty signs that said, “flip me over when out of TP.” lynn and i didn’t know how we were going to possibly flip over a portapotty, but paul set us straight when he showed us how to simply flip over the sign.

will i brave the 13.1 miles next year for my 3rd lifetime half? jennie & julie now have 3 under their belts. i’m just not that much into competition. running is supposed to be fun, right? right? actually, it really was.

to see more marathon photos, become my facebook friend: