Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yes, Another Post About Cake!

I did this!!! Can you believe it?!? And the really amazing thing is that I carried this cake from the house to the car, the car to class, class to the car, car to the house, house to the car, and, finally, from the car to work. And all without dropping it. I felt like one of those contestants on the Food Network Cake Challenge, where they have to lift their 700 lb. cake and carry it to a separate table for display.

Except, you know, my cake was less than a pound. And in a convenient carrier. And only two layers. But still!

Last night was the end of Course 1 at Wilton University. I'm totally telling everyone I'm taking classes. What's that, you want to meet for drinks? Sorry, can't. I have class tonight at the university. We're learning royal icing techniques. The professor is a real stickler!

Actually, I am already enrolled in Course 2 which starts next week. I only have to make one cake for this class. And the instructor, Denise, could not be nicer! I highly recommend taking the classes with her at the Michael's at Easton. She made the first course so much fun.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

At Least Blame The Right Thing

All week long, I have been avoiding the discussion of the Miss USA debacle because, quite frankly, I just don't care. Really. But that doesn't mean I have no opinion. And here it is: Miss California, you didn't lose the pageant because your answer upset Perez Hilton. You lost because your answer was convoluted and nonsensical.

And, you lost because of these earrings!

Sweetheart, they are hideous.

And can we talk for a second about gracious losing? Stop doing interviews where you claim the only reason you lost was because of your answer. Hello?!? That's why they ask the questions! To weed out the ones who don't quite measure up. Why not say something like "The new Miss USA is a great choice. She will be a terrific ambassador for the organization."

Lie if you must. You're a pageant veteran after all. But stop sounding all sour grapes about the whole thing. You sound like you're being interviewed right before 4th period English class at Pretty Pretty Princess Middle School.

If I were the new Miss USA, I'd track California down and throw Donald Trump's combover at her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Let Them Eat Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is cake #2. Devil's Food with a chocolate fudge center. It's rich and sinful.
Go on...admit it. You want a piece.
It's okay.
I know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's a Cake!

I just realized I totally forgot to post about cake class last week. I was so wrapped up in Mom's birthday and Dad's medical issues that it completely slipped my mind.

I was amazed at how relaxing the class was. And I discovered I have a steady hand when it comes to the techniques. I have class again tonight. I promise, I'll do better at timely posting.

I made a lemon cake with raspberry filling for last class. I wasn't crazy about the icing, so I am adding butter this week to see if that is an improvement. Those are tulips, in case you are florally-challenged.

This week it's chocolate cake with a fudge filling.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What Can I Say, I'm Easy To Please

Those are Spearmint Tic Tacs. I love me some Spearmint Tic Tacs. All other Tic Tacs pale in comparison.

Do you know how hard it is to find these in stores? They are elusive, people! And elusive is not good for someone who is totally addicted to them. Not good at all!
Now, let me tell you how crafty my mother is...she managed to find these. Where, you ask? Why, at the Der Dutchman restaurant in Plain City. She is good, I tell you! She found them last year at Cedar Point, too.
Usually I have to buy them online in bulk. Not today, though! And that slight shift you felt at 1:35pm Eastern Time today? That was the world righting itself now that these babies are in my possession.

A Great-Grand Dream

Last week, I dreamt about my great-grandmother, whose name was Roma. Isn't that a great name? She passed away when I was barely 4, so I don't have a lot of concrete memories of her. But the dream was incredibly detailed. Her blue eyes were striking, and very kind. I always had the impression that she was very gentle. And while most of my memories involve her being in a nursing home, I do remember being in her house as a small child.

She used to keep old-fashioned butter mints around and I loved them! I remember trying to sneak into the kitchen to get them. She kept them on a high shelf, and I pulled drawers out from the floor to the counter to climb up and get them. Amazingly, I didn't hurt myself. My clumsiness is well known.

I have no idea why I dreamt about her, but I've had several people tell me she is trying to send a message or there is something in my subconscious I'm trying to remember about her. Whatever the reason, the dream gave me such a feeling of happiness. I didn't realize how much I missed her. My nieces and nephews are so lucky that they have a great-grandmother in their lives. One who is active and very present for them. Most people aren't that lucky.

Roma was the mother of the gramma I live with now. I can remember drinking out of pink glasses like the photo below since I was very small. It turns out these glasses belonged to Great-Gramma Roma. It's amazing to me that Gramma lets us drink out of them. What a treasure they are.

I'll have to see if I can find some photos of her to post.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grace and Charm...That's Me!

I love Chipotle! I super pink puffy-heart Chipotle. A steak fajita burrito bol makes my entire week! Add guacamole and I'm in sheer bliss! But let me tell you what I don't love. I don't love the guy who decides that lunch time is the perfect moment to mop the floor in the Chipotle in German Village.

Listen, fella, look at my feet. See the cute, peep-toe red heels? Okay, now travel up. See me? Hey, my eyes are up here, buddy! Anyway, I'm clumsy on a good day. I'm thrilled to get through my day without tripping. So, let's do a little math to figure this out.

Chipotle Floor + Mopping = Slick Surface.

Slick Surface + Kim + Red Peep-Toe Heels = Disaster

Yes, I managed to make it out of the place unscathed. I stayed upright and didn't slip at all. Of course, that's only because I used the ledge to steady myself. If I crash in the Chipotle because of a wet floor, think I can get free Chipotle out of it? More than 1 or 2, I mean.

I noticed today that when I say the word "fabulous, " I use jazz hands. What is that about? And when did I start?

It's a beautiful day here in the capital city. Sun is shining, people are in a good mood. Spring has sprung, people. I think there should be mandatory work release on Fridays that are this beautiful. Can somebody get on this for me?

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day to focus on your decisions regarding end-of-life care. Hospice of the Western Reserve has asked for bloggers to donate space on their blogs today to discuss their end-of-life wishes. I've been thinking a lot about this over the last week, and I realized I've never had this discussion with my husband, or any of my family members. Part of it may be the idea that discussing such an unpleasant topic is uncomfortable for people. Most people don't want to dwell on the thought of their own demise. But since we don't live forever, we really should stop and think about what we want done.

For me, the thought of being kept alive artificially holds no allure. Medical advances being what they are, I trust that doctors should know what constitutes a vegetative state. And I don't want to be in that state. Nor do I want my husband or family to have to decide what to do. I feel that I am the best person to decide what I want to happen to myself, and I would rather decide that now. While I am not 100% comfortable stating my exact wishes here, rest assured it is included in my planning.

It is important for me to maintain dignity throughout the process. I should be the one to make the plan, not someone for me. And not, God forbid, someone for political gain as in some of the more well-known cases.

I used this link to prepare an Advanced Directive to prepare for such an event. And I am going to sit down with my husband so we can discuss our wishes together. But it doesn't stop there. I also plan on sharing this information with my family (Mom, Dad, etc.) so they know my wishes as well. The idea of a tug-of-war over top of my hospital bed is enough to make me crazy, and I will not allow that to happen. Not if I can help it.

I hope that by posting this, it inspires you to have this conversation as well. It is so critically important, but it takes a very small amount of time.

Wednesday Wrap-Up

Thanks for all of your good thoughts yesterday. I am happy to report that my Dad did fine with his procedure and will be released from the hospital sometime today. I have rediscovered that I am not good at waiting...not at all. But I do have to give a big thumbs up to the people at Mt. Carmel East Heart Center. From the moment we stepped in the door until I left last night, the entire staff was incredibly caring and compassionate. And the waiting room was actually comfortable. Cushy chairs and recliners, TVs...a nice place to sit if you have to.

My mom had a good birthday. The big celebration with us will be Saturday evening, but she went out to dinner with her "friend" Don last night. I feel bad that her birthday got a bit overshadowed, but this way, she gets to spread the celebration out. That's not really all that bad.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Mom!

Today is a big day in our family. April 15th is my mom's birthday! We have never looked at this date with loathing due to the IRS that so many of you do. Instead, it's a day of celebration.

Mom would like you all to believe she is 39, but that would mean she was a very small child when she had me. However, just for today, I'll indulge this wish.

So, Happy 39th Birthday, Mom! I love you very much and I hope your day is everything you want it to be! And if you can stretch your celebration from a day to a week, then even better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Just In...

I found a Hershey Bar with Almonds in the back of my desk. A whole bar! Score!!!


That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Golf, A Good Walk...Oh, Who Am I Kidding? I Rode In The Cart!

Good Monday morning, everybody! Of course, it's gray and dreary, so maybe not such a good morning, but it's the salutation that counts. What a jam-packed weekend!

I spent Saturday morning baking a coconut cake and setting up the house for the Easter celebration on Sunday. Then, I drove up to OakHaven Golf Course in Delaware to watch Dave's golf team battle the elements. It could have been worse, weather-wise, but it was still pretty crappy. The only redeeming factor was the sun shone all afternoon. But the wind! Dreadful and cold. I absolutely froze. I managed to stay just above hypothermia levels until the very end, when the sun started to droop down and the wind kicked up. That's when the shivering and teeth-chattering started. And, you all know, once that happens, you've passed the point of no return. I was so happy to get back into the car and turn the heat on.

But even with the weather, I still had a great time. I got to see Dave's team, and they are a great group of guys. All very funny, very nice. Golfers are a little different when it comes to college behavior. I also got to see a couple of our old friends. Dave and I know the coach from Mt. Union College. I miss him so much now that I am in Columbus, so it was a great surprise to see him there. We also got to see one of Dave's former golfers who lives down here. All in all, a good day. Of course, if the temperature had been about ten degrees warmer with no wind, that would have been perfect. But considering that this tournament had a snow delay last year, I'm not going to dwell.

Yesterday, most of the family converged on Gramma's for the annual Easter Dinner. This year we had 21 people ranging in age from 90-something to 1 month. Dave wasn't able to make it since he had the golf tournament and got home late Saturday. We had the requisite egg hunt, along with some fabulous food. Ham, cheesy potatoes, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, homemade rolls...the works! Yummy delicious. Thank goodness we don't eat like that every weekend!

This is the week of Dad's procedure, so I am a little preoccupied with that. I went to see him last night and got the rundown of his medications. Nothing makes you grow up faster then having to discuss living wills and powers of attorney with a parent. And while I don't expect we'll need to worry about anything, it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Fingers crossed for a good week.

Friday, April 10, 2009

And Now, Fluff

In light of the last post, I thought I'd put something on here a little less weighty!

My favorite line of dialogue from last night's episode of Bones:

Booth: "We have to stop hanging out with geniuses, or you're going to figure out how dumb I am."

Brennan: "Don't worry about that! I figured out how dumb you were a long time ago."

National Healthcare Decisions Day

I'm taking a break from the normally light-hearted and ridiculous fluff I post to bring you something important to think about. Next Thursday, April 16th, is National Healthcare Decisions Day. It's a day in which to stop and reflect on what you would want to happen in the event of your catastrophic illness or injury.

I know...I KNOW! It's not a fun topic. Nobody likes to think about what horrible things could happen to themselves. But, what if something did? Have you communicated your wishes to your loved ones? Do they know what you want to happen? Do you want to ask someone to make such difficult decisions when they are emotionally wrought? Neither do I! And since I am in the middle of helping my Dad prepare documents that address these issues in advance of his procedure next week, it is obviously very timely for me.

Hospice of the Western Reserve (Cleveland) has a project they are coordinating for this event. They are asking bloggers to post their wishes on their blog. Here is the information my friend Paige sent me:

April 16th—yes, the day after taxes—is National Healthcare Decisions Day. As a part of this initiative, Hospice of the Western Reserve would like to invite you to share your wishes in the event of a tragedy on your blog.

You’ve heard about the high profile cases: Terri Schiavo, Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan. All were young women, and none of them established their end of life wishes before being faced with tragedy.

The younger you are, the more important it is to plan ahead. Although the likelihood that they will be needed is not as great, the severity of the consequences is greater.

If you’re interested in raising awareness for advance care planning among young professionals in Cleveland, let me know and I can send you Courage in Conversation and/or set you up with someone from our team to discuss. I’ll be posting on my personal blog on April 16, too, and will be providing links to participating blogs/columns on our website, I’d like to invite you to link back to this page on your blog, too.

Here are some questions to get you going:
• What is most important for you in your life right now?
• What are your most important hopes?
• What do you hope to avoid most of all?
• Which options would you prefer?
• Attempt cure; use all appropriate interventions.
• Give curative treatments where appropriate and manage other conditions; avoid aggressive interventions.
• Keep me comfortable and emphasize quality of what time remains; avoid potentially life-prolonging interventions.

If you have a blog, please consider participating as well as having this conversation with your loved ones. If you don't have a blog, just have the talk. There is additional information on preparing advanced directives on this site.

Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who Is Your Never?

So, the cake class! Lots of fun. And the best part, besides making yummy cakes? My friend, Staci, is in it as well. I didn't even know she was going to be there. It was like that moment in college when you're in a class of complete strangers, and then that one familiar face arrives and you realize how great it's going to be.

Staci and I became acquaintances when we were planning our weddings. We were both on a local board on The Knot. Because of Staci's recommendation, we ended up with an awesome and affordable DJ at our wedding. And, for that, I will be eternally grateful to Staci.

Last night before bed, I was listening to some music I had downloaded. Blue October has released a new album and there is a song called "My Never" which is incredible. (I have to apologize for the link, though. It's the only one I can find that isn't completely awful since I just discovered that the song will be in the "New Dawn" movie.) Beautiful, moving lyrics, completely relatable. I think everybody has a "Never." Someone who didn't work out. A relationship that was wrong in the timing. A person you were sure you would end up with, but you didn't. And, when I look back, I am so happy that things worked out the way they did. I would gladly trade my never for my forever. But I'm also glad that my never was in my life at one point. All the twists and turns, the somersaults...they were worth it, to get me onto the path I needed to be on. To make me who I am.

If you are in Columbus, you may read The Other Paper. I have some friends on the cover.

Don't they look great? Like they are having such a good time? They were partying after the New Kids On The Block concert last Friday. I love their custom-made t-shirts. No, I don't know all of them, but the ones I do are so freaking hilarious, so very nice, and let's face it, so darn cute. Makes me almost sorry I wasn't a fan of New Kids back in the day.

Shout out to my friend, Randy! He turns 35 today. Happy Birthday, buddy!! May you get to watch all the Master's Tournament you can stand this weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Seasons Change, Men Decorate Cakes

For those of you who have asked, yes, my week is definitely better than my weekend! So far, I have managed to avoid wearing food or drink, injuring myself, or crashing my vehicle. And now that I have put that in writing, you know one of those things is bound to happen. Because that is Murphy's Law.

Speaking of Murphy's Law, when I was in grade-school, I had a classmate whose last name was Murphy. In gym class, when we were playing basketball, she named her team "Murphy's Law." And I found that just so funny because, really, if you are looking to be successful, you probably don't want to use that particular name. Gee, what a nerd I was. I was probably the only one to find it funny, because nobody else thought about it. And now that I think about it, she was a really good athlete, so her team probably won the tournament. She was the prettiest girl in class, too. And she looks exactly the same now. How unfair is that? Well, I've managed to depress myself. I'm awesome.

Moving on!

It would be great if you guys could think some positive thoughts for my father. It turns out he may have a blockage creating issues in the lower chambers of his heart, so he will be going in for a procedure next week to fix the issue. Crossed fingers or prayers will also be appreciated. You know...whatever your thing might be.

Tonight is the first night of my cake decorating class. Let's hope, upon completion, I have skills in that area. Otherwise, I may end up on this site. Of course, I'm not a professional, nor do I plan to be. A friend of mine told me he had taken the class. And I am ashamed to admit that I found that surprising. Me! A totally independent, do your own thing, don't let gender get in your way kind of person. I didn't, for an instant, think guys would be in the class. And that shames me. I'm hanging my head right now, wallowing in the shameful shame-i-ness. Sigh. So very sorry, my totally heterosexual friend who just wanted to make fabulous cakes. Will you tutor me if I need help?!?

Work has been busy. Training in earnest to get up to speed on my job. Lots to learn, and I need to know something about everything that my employer does. A jack of all trades. I'm quickly learning what I like, and what I hate. But, overall, a lot of like, and very, very little hate. I feel so lucky to have such a great place to work, with really fabulous co-workers. It's a nice feeling.

Spring is here, in spite of the snowfall earlier this week. Driving down Broad Street in Columbus yesterday, the sun was shining and the blossoms were out on the trees. There is nothing prettier that spring-flowering trees. Just when you think you cannot stand anymore gray or brown dreariness, voila! Pink and white blossoms, green buds. Everyone is happier.

And, if you're like me, you know what's next!

Orange construction barrels!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Little Black Rain Cloud

Pretty craptastic weekend I just had. Who knew I would be so happy for Monday. Suffice it to say, it was not fun. I'll spare you the details, but I'll sum it up for you. On my drive back to Columbus last night, I stopped to get something to drink at a drive-thru. As the worker handed my drink to me (a large, mind you), the bottom of the cup gave way and I ended up with iced tea and ice all over me. My shirt and pants were soaked, as was my seat. Good times. I just sat there, looking at myself, cracking up. Because really, at that point, it was either laugh or cry. And if I cried, I probably would have ended up at a real drive-thru for some type of adult beverage. And that would have ended badly, I can assume.

The poor girl at the window was mortified! I'm sure she thought I was going to yell at her, but it wasn't her fault. In her defense, she did offer to give me extra napkins. That was a fun drive home, I tell you. Serves me right. Clearly fate was out to get me.

Ever have a bad-luck moment? Or, in my case, a bad-luck weekend? I need a get-away from my get-away.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Here's What Made Me Laugh Out Loud Today

The fundamental difference between the sexes, and proof you don't need to understand the language to get the message:

This one is three years old, but still cracks me up!

Dave wants me to include this, and I admit, it is so freaking funny!

Here's another Sprint..."This, in here, and we're outta here! Buckle up, dudes!"

YouTube...killing time for Kim since 2006.

Friday, April 3, 2009

This Much I Know

1. While I might agree that most of Bruce Springsteen's songs *might* sound alike, I think it's un-American to say so.

2. I think that anyone who says "You would understand if you had kids" to a lady who has fertility issues should be smacked across the face twice; once to get their attention and the second to drive home the point.

3. Bra companies need to do a better job designing bras for those of us who have (ahem) ample cleavage. We would like to wear cute bras, too. Can someone get on this?!?

4. I really feel that people who tell you the book was better than the movie should be laughed at..of course the book was better than the movie! How pretentious can you get?

5. Payroll administrators are sexy in a "you get paid because of me" kind of way.

6. I miss Wendy the Snapple Lady.

7. I think chicken sandwiches from Winking Lizard are crazy delicious!

8. If a car is driving beside you and it's a Lexus, chances are pretty good it's going to cut you off.

9. I'm really not sure how whisking mayo twice will make it taste better.

10. And I think it's gonna be a long long time, till touch down brings me round again to find, I'm not the man they think I am at home. Oh no no no I'm a rocket man.

11. You shouldn't complain about the cost of Girl Scout Cookies. It's a FUNDRAISER, for crying out loud!

12. I would just about kill for spearmint Tic-Tacs.

13. I'm longing for a warm beach.

Spoiled?!? Surely, You Jest!

Some of you may remember that while Dave and I are living apart, I am staying with my Gramma and Mom during the week. It's pretty great that dinner is on the table when I get home, and my sheets are freshly-laundered every Sunday night. And the fact that, sometimes, my Gramma packs my lunch for me cannot be discounted in the slightest.

Okay, I am a *bit* spoiled. But I love the fact that I have this time with both of them. It's time I'll never regret, even though I am separated from Dave during the week. It's a trade-off, and I have to believe that we are on this path for a reason. Fingers crossed that he finds a job here soon. Until that happens, I'm incredibly lucky to have family that has room for me.

I love the fact that we laugh every single night. We share funny stories. Gramma told me a story about lipstick one night that had me in tears. Even now, thinking about it, I chuckle. And I'm so glad, I'm so thankful that the three of us enjoy being around each other.

How Do You Even Spell Blogiversary?

Today is Julie's Blogiversary over at 47 and Starting Over. Please do me a great big favor and go over to her blog. She's trying to get to 100 comments today, so go leave a note!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Not In The Mood

Today is one of those days, people. I woke up in a foul mood for whatever reason, and so far it hasn't gotten any better. I opened my yogurt at my desk and that stupid lid just launched yogurt all over. How it does this I will never know.

My cranberry juice tastes wrong. My favorite hand lotion is missing. I broke a nail getting in the car, then broke another getting out.

This may not be my day.

More later.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bobby Knight? You Know He's Crazy, Right?

Someone showed me this ad yesterday, and I honestly don't know how I missed it during the copious hours of basketball I have been watching lately. Have you seen it? Hilarious!!

But then there's more, which I just saw today!

So here is the question of the day. Who wins? Bobby Knight or James Hetfield?

It's Chanel, For Goodness Sakes!

I am one of those typical girly-girls, who has 212 pairs of shoes, 1100 tubes of lipstick, and multiple fragrances for whatever the occasion. And while I do wear all of the shoes and I try to use all of the lipstick, my fragrance collection is rather...well, dusty. I use one or two regularly. The rest.....meh.

I decided I should probably get rid of the ones I never wear, and pare down a bit. Gone are the half-used bottles of what was I thinking, you've got to be kidding, and the Bath and Body Works Collection that no longer exists in the store. And can someone explain to me why they only discontinue the scents I like? That drives me crazy!

Anyway, I decided to wear my "special-occasion" perfume this morning. Chanel No. 5. Love it! It was the perfume I wore at my wedding. It was the perfume my mom wore for her special occasions. It makes me feel grown-up and sophisticated. But when I mentioned what I was wearing to someone when she asked, she kind of made a face. And it made me think of an NCIS episode when a character asked if anyone wore Chanel No. 5 anymore. Do they? Am I old-fashioned for loving it? And here's the bigger I even care?

Regardless, I smell fabulous!