The Lousy Cook Decorates a Cake

wedding-cupcakewedding-cake-cutting

I want a beautiful wedding cake. A gorgeous, opulent, over-the-top, Princess Diana wedding cake.

That I’ve been married for 28.25 years is beside the point.

We had a wedding cake in 1988, a small, heart-shaped carrot cake with real flowers: a lovely cake in keeping with a small budget and a small wedding on a small boat. If memory serves correctly, which it probably doesn’t, the cake was from Safeway. I no longer even recognize the groom I married in this picture, much less the cake.

I have no idea who that young man is, but he sure looks happy.
I have no idea who that young man is, but he sure looks happy.

It appears that the cake was really more of a cupcake on steroids. The Man I Married’s hand and the cake server are almost as large as the cake. Who cared? There was more than enough bubbly, courtesy of my parents, and that’s all that mattered. We had our priorities straight, as far as I’m concerned.

But, along with the size of my derriere, the wedding cake I desire has grown.Read More »

What a Writer Does on a Peaceful Island Writing Retreat in a Cabin Nestled in the Woods Overlooking a Harbor

Surveillance team behind my cabin
Surveillance team behind my cabin
Focaccia
Focaccia on Facebook

She lies awake at 2:15 a.m. wondering about those gunshots in the distance. Large caliber gun. She’s no firearms expert, but this she knows. Eight gunshots, exactly. Not equally spaced out. She counts, because she is a writer, and details matter. Also so that she can inform the sheriff when he arrives to ask, “Did anybody hear anything suspicious?” and he will be impressed enough with her answer that he will suspect she writes mystery novels about an amateur sleuth. Perhaps, though, the gun is fired by a hunter? But who hunts in the dark? Is it an escaped felon who has fled to the island and is feeding off deer while living in a cabin whose inhabitants he has mutilated? Why don’t more convicts escape to this island? It would make a lot of sense to escape here. If the writer were a nasty criminal, she’d hop the first ferry to this island. Nobody locks their doors, she’s been told. She has left her ground-floor bedroom window open because it’s hot. She gets up and locks the window, trying to fumble at the unfamiliar latch in the dark so that the felon doesn’t see inside the cabin to detect a lone, short, Weeble-ish inhabitant, easily overcome by prison breath. The criminal has seen on Facebook posts that she makes excellent sourdough focaccia. He will not kill her. He will keep her alive and force her to keep the sourdough starter alive, but he will become irritated because she puts too many vegetables but no salami on the pizza.Read More »

Long-term Marriage

The Man I Married and I met 29 years ago on a street corner: a random occurrence that shaped the rest of my life. I was waiting for the Walk light, and he crossed on the Don’t walk. Nothing much has changed. We got married 51 weeks later. We’ve been together for over half my life.

Swans, like those raised on The Brady Bunch, live and mate in family groups and keep the same mate for a lifetime.

At first, long-term marriage looks like this:

swans (24)
Hubba hubba

Then sometimes it looks like this:

Not speaking
“You put my delicates in the dryer on high AGAIN?”

Often it looks like this:

Heading mostly in the same direction
Heading mostly in the same direction

I used to want this:

Checking out guys at the bar
Checking out guys at the bar

Now I just want this:

Alone for some peace and quiet
Alone for some peace and quiet

What I have is this:

Happy Valentine's Day from our family of three
Juvelines are grey, in swans and in human males who’ve been given charge of their own laundry

I’ll take it and count myself lucky.

* * * * *

Image Credits:

All photos by Jennifer D. Munro.

Getting Smart (Finally!) for the Annual Science Fair

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Scientist at work. “Don’t get my dorky shoes in the photo, Mom.”

It’s that time of year again, when the makers of trifold boards once again rack up enough dollars to fund their annual cruises to the Bahamas. What a scam. Our underfunded schools must be in cahoots with the manufacturers and receive a kickback for every board sold. Try as I might, I couldn’t get last year’s trifold exhibit returned in order to reuse it for this year’s project. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the Little Man never remembered to bring it home despite my nagging. (You think?)Read More »

Store-bought versus Homemade

Store-bought suet cake and female Northern Flickers
Female Northern Flickers and the last store-bought suet cake

When the Little Man moved in with us at just barely six years old, he’d eaten only at Denny’s and McDonald’s for the previous month. I assumed Denny’s for breakfast and McDonald’s for dinner, but it turns out it was the other way around: orange juice and a large cookie at McD’s for breakfast, fries and a burger at Denny’s for dinner. He had full access to soda, candy, and cable TV throughout the night.

The month before he moved in, I ate my daily favorite: brown rice, cooked greens, and tofu.

Now that’s a recipe for disaster.Read More »

Trumpeting Our Success

Happy Valentine's Day from our family of three
Happy Valentine’s Day from our family of three

I had no idea that our state has native swans, until a year ago when the Little Man and I drove north for the Snow Goose Festival. Silly me, I thought the day would be about geese, but hopefully not about snow. LM thought the day would be about eating out for lunch.

I thought swans were for castle moats, fairy tales, and ballet.

I might not have known about the swans because for a long while there weren’t very many. Less than 100 breeding Trumpeter Swans remained by the early 1900s, due to overhunting. Factor in DDT and lead ammunition, and things looked more grim for our native swans than for a ballerina who’d eaten Big Macs all winter.Read More »