Cupcake Follies

Really, I just wanted to watch my cupcake show.  I’d been talking about it for days and let Tom know I recorded it.  The Cupcake bake-off on the Food Channel.  After 13 rounds of chemo and two to go, this was the big thing I was looking forward to.  I don’t make cupcakes but my daughter had ordered cupcakes for the twins 6th  birthday party and sent me a picture.  I was blown away.  I had never seen more beautiful cupcakes in my life and was sure they couldn’t be that beautiful and also taste good.  She assured me they were delicious.  Somehow this self taught woman was discovered by the Food Channel and asked to compete in one of the Cupcake Bake-off shows.  Her Bakery is called “Baked Blooms.” https://www.bakedblooms.com/

My sister invited us to come up for the weekend so to Seattle we went.  It was a good getaway.  I was up long before everyone else Saturday morning and sat around waiting for anyone to get up.  Tom was sleeping in longer than he ever had before so the sleeping pill my sister Denise gave him the night before must really be working.  She said it was mild and you wouldn’t have a hangover in the morning.  When he finally got up he had a big hangover and was really groggy.

“What the heck was that pill you gave me last night Denise?”  “I just gave you one of my prescription sleeping pills, they’re real mild and you wake up feeling great.  But my pills are the same as Bonita’s, so since mine were in the bedroom, I just gave you one of Bonita’s”  “Why am I so groggy then?”  Tom asked.  Denise went to get the bottle and then started laughing.  “Bonita’s pills are way stronger than mine!”  she said. Bonita happens to be the family dog.  We finally stopped laughing and Tom went to peruse his phone.

I went to my phone and found the cupcakes to show Denise.  I was telling her how beautiful they were and how the bakery’s owner was going to be competing in the Cupcake Bake-off on the Food Channel.  Tom looked up from his phone and said “Oh she won.”  “What did you say” I asked.  “She won.”  he said again.  I couldn’t believe it, did he just ruin my cupcake show?  “I told you I recorded that to watch when we got home” I said, barely containing my fury.  “I thought you’d already watched it” he said.  “Of course I haven’t watched it, I keep talking about watching it,  you’ve heard me talking about watching it, do you not hear anything I say?”  “Sorry, you can watch it when we get home and you won’t have any anxiety about who wins.”  I did not speak to him the rest of the day and was still mad the following day.  I even threatened to tell him who wins every Wisconsin Badger game he records.  The cupcakes had taken on an outsize importance, a metaphor for husbands who don’t listen! I finally watched the show several days later and yes, she won and yes, knowing she won ruined the show for me.  But I’m very happy she won, her cupcakes are something to behold.

Did somebody ruin something for you and you want to tell me about it?

Stiff Peaks

By now you’ve finished all your after Christmas shopping and broken all your New Year’s resolutions.  Now what?  It’s February and there’s not a lot going on.  Except for of course Valentine’s Day.  Remember when Valentine’s Day was a big deal?  What would he get me?  Jewelry, candy, flowers?  It was so exciting.  Me, I’d take candy over jewelry any day.  It was a given you’d go out for a romantic dinner. Since it was on my mind I thought I’d ask Tom if he’d thought about it.

Me ( with hope in my voice)  “What have you thought about doing for Valentine’s Day?”

Tom:  “Oh yeah,   Valentine’s Day.  Why don’t you make those lamb chops we like and for sure the Coeur a la Creme, I love that and you only make it on Valentine’s Day.”   Another hope dashed… However, Tom has made this dessert once before and the instruction to whip that cream to stiff peaks had him very confused.  But not as confused as the time he made another dessert as a surprise for me.  That instruction read:  whip egg whites until stiff but not dry.  He still talks about  “That crazy instruction!  What the heck does not dry mean, do egg whites get dry and what does that look like?”  You get the picture.

There are other things to do in February like get a head start on Spring cleaning; invite those friends of yours who didn’t escape to a sunnier place over for dinner.  I am going to turn on the fireplace and curl up on the couch with the golf balls I got for Christmas and dream of a lower handicap.  Speaking of golf balls, have you seen those new matte colored balls?  They are really cool, so that’s what I asked for.  I had only seen the deep red and orange ones, so didn’t even know there were other colors.  Sure enough, there are.  I got a box of the Volvik pastels.  Do you think I will be noticed on the golf course with these colors?  I think so!

If you are spending Valentine’s Day at home and making your own romantic dinner, here is the Coeur a la Creme recipe which is now a family heirloom and will be making it into that cookbook I hope to finish in the next 5 years.  By the way, what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Uh Oh, Now I’ve done it

The Holiday Season is such a fun heartwarming time of year.  A time of good cheer, not a time of danger to your marriage.  Picking out gifts for family members and friends is creative and fun.  It’s a challenge to find just the right thing and then all of a sudden you have a whole pile of “just the right thing.”  And that pile just gets bigger, but how did that happen?  May the following story be a warning to those of you who are happily married.

Last year we were spending Christmas in California.   First we’d spend Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day with our daughter and the twins.  Then after gifts were opened, we’d head to our son’s house, four hours away and spend it with our two grandsons.  We were going to drive as I had all the gifts for everyone gathered in the guest room.  I’d had a good time shopping and found all sorts of just perfect gifts which soon became a big pile taking up more space than they should have in the guest room. The night before we left, Tom wanted to pack the car so we could get an early start in the morning.

 

“What is all of this!” he shouted in dismay,           “All of these wouldn’t even fit into Santa’s sleigh!”

Those dreamy blue eyes were full of fury,                I left that room in a great big hurry.

Yes I went overboard a wee tiny bit                             But he didn’t need to throw such a big hissy fit

“We’ll need two cars!” he sputtered and fumed.    But he started carrying gifts from the room.

He got it packed, everything fit,                                    Although we barely had room to sit.

Next year he said, each kid gets just two,                 I’m making a spreadsheet to send to you.

So I said those words he was desperate to hear,   Those two little words, “Yes dear.”

Oh the stress!  Does any of this sound familiar?  It’s really hard to buy just two gifts each for our adorable, deserving grandchildren,  You find the perfect two gifts and buy them and then something even more perfect comes along. Then what do you do? Take a chance on the fury again or just stop.  I stopped at three, which I thought was a perfect compromise.

Has this ever happened to you or am I the only one to bust budgets?  By the way, what budget?  Do you actually have one?  How does that work!

 

 

 

 

 

I Should Have Said No

 

I had the amazing idea of creating a summer bucket list.  At the top of the list was lowering my golf handicap.  Also on that list was going to Mt. St. Helens.  We accomplished Mt. St. Helens, but the golf handicap isn’t going as smoothly.

Blowup holes and aim.  My noble goal of lowering my golf handicap this summer didn’t actually happen.  In fact, it went up which I didn’t think was possible.  Tom and I played Twilight golf on Tuesdays, which was a regular event at the course we played on.

Paired with a couple we didn’t know, we approached hole #1.  I was in front of the green in 2 and preparing to pitch onto the green for maybe a par and at worst a 5.  Feeling cocky, I swung and hit my pitch shot straight left into the green side bunker.  Our playing partners shifted uncomfortably and looked down at their feet.

Most husbands in this situation would be supportive. Tom looked at me in disbelief.  “That was a pathetic shot” he said.  “How did you even hit that?”  “Do you think I TRIED to hit that shot?” I said.

Two shots out of the bunker and two putts later, I had my first blowup hole.  My humiliation wasn’t complete as the second hole only got worse. So two holes played and I already had my blowup holes. After nine holes I had 3 blowup holes under my belt and a pretty high score.  How does this happen?  I should be good at golf. (By now, all you non-golfers out there are bored to tears and I get it).  But at dinner they announced the results and I came in second on the back nine winning $7.  The couple we played with started laughing and Tom rolled his eyes.  Yes, that is the result of a very high handicap.  So hey, it turns out a high handicap isn’t all bad!

Which brings me to Chet and his used golf clubs.  It’s tournament time in the Senior Men’s Group at the par 3 Sah-Hah-Lee Golf Club.  I joined the men’s group last year as they didn’t care and now we’re up to 6 women and about 50 men.  Usually about 4 of us women show up and they pair us together every week which is a lot of fun.  We only play 9 holes but the tournament is two days and it’s 18 holes each day.  I signed right up for the tournament but it turns out none of the other women did so it was me and all the men.

Day one and I was on the tee playing with Chet, Fred and Jim.  Jim had the whitest legs I’ve ever seen and white socks to match.  Chet could barely move (Tom yells at him as he walks the course “Don’t stop Chet.  The vultures are circling”).  Chet has bad knees but is really friendly, as guess why, he sells used golf clubs and had honed in on me as a hot prospect.  Chet with his used clubs in the picture.  It was 97 degrees the day we played.

I played really well on the front nine, better than I’ve ever played before.  When we hit the back nine Chet moved in.  On the back nine there are some holes I need to hit a driver.  Chet just happened to have a ladies driver in his bag and guess what?  It was for sale.  I had my own driver but I got talked into trying this fantastic driver which was priced at only $39.  I might not have even tried this if I hadn’t been told by someone who fits golf clubs that the club I need to upgrade is my driver.  New drivers are $400+, so $39 sounded really good.

I hit Chet’s driver really well, straight left into and under a bush.  Chet smiled and said “I have that same trouble with that driver.  The face is closed and you need to open it to hit it straight. And who really cares about the golf score anyway.”   I do, I’m in a tournament!  The next driving hole Chet pointed out has a wide open fairway and I really should try that driver again.  Same result.  Straight left into a big bush. It happened that the big bush was in a completely different fairway from the one we were playing on.  Chet is unfazed.

“Hey, I have a couple of other brands of ladies drivers in my garage which will be much better for you and I’ll bring them on Thursday.”  Thursday was the second day of the tournament, a day that did not go well for me even though I didn’t use the two old ladies drivers Chet brought for me to try.  I felt like Thursday was an 18 blowup hole day.  I’m sure I need a whole new set of golf clubs to solve my problem.

Any secrets out there to prevent blowup holes?

 

 

 

 

Because That’s What Men Are For

You say up, I say down.  I want to go left, you want to go right.  You get the picture.  The difference between men and women is we don’t even begin to think the same way!

Take sports for instance.  Do you know what OBP means in baseball terms?  How about a “Pick N Roll in basketball, zone defense, or in football, OLB, MLB?  Ok, I admit to knowing all of these things because I love sports, but the average female doesn’t.  But this is what stumps me. The sports trivia question that the announcer throws out like:

What was Hank Aaron’s batting average in 1959 or which pitcher had an ERA of 1.12 in 1968, which football player had the most catches in 1999?  Tom knows the answers to all of these questions. It’s just unbelievable.  Just the other night he asked me

“Do you remember who played Point Guard for the Warriors in 2003?”

Of course I don’t.  But I can tell you what I remember vividly about December 29, 1982.  We were walking home from a neighborhood party and I was 9 months pregnant.  Tom suggested I walk half in the street and half on the curb to see if I could induce labor so our baby, who turned out to be Max, could be born in 1982 for tax purposes.  I also remember my reaction to his suggestion… then my water broke about 2 AM and we rushed to the hospital and Max was born in 1982.  Even though I hadn’t done as Tom suggested he took credit because he’d “planted the seed” with that stupid suggestion.

Which brings me to the point of this entire blog.  I was nursing a swollen knee from playing pickleball so I had to sleep on his side of the bed in case I had to get up in the middle of the night.  His side is closer to the bathroom.

I have been complaining for two years now about the neighbor who lives across our fence.  They have an incredibly bright light that they leave on all night which shines right in my eyes on my side of the bed.  Not only do they leave that light on , but they leave all the lights in the house on all night.  This is definitely not a grow light , trust me on this one unless they are growing something illegal or just newly legal.  Has Tom paid ANY attention to me other than to grunt?  No.  Worse, he said it doesn’t bother him because I’m blocking the light from shining in his eyes.

We were talking to our next door neighbor one afternoon when I asked him if he had a BB gun.  (Tom had refused to use his because he said he’d be the only suspect).  Our neighbor is younger and a hunter so I was sure he would have one and not be afraid to use it for a good cause.  I suggested he might shoot out the neighbor’s light for me which to me seemed like a perfect solution.  He declined as he pointed out he’s on our HOA Board and it might not look good if he were caught.  That’s when Tom said the light was inside the house not outside.  And believe it or not, it is inside, this incredibly bright light. Which took the BB gun option right off the table.

Then it took one night of him sleeping on my side of the bed with the prospect of facing at least two more nights, guess what happened.  In less than three minutes in the garage he came back with the piece of wood you see in the picture.  Yup, problem solved.  You might wonder why I hadn’t come up with a solution to my own problem.

BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MEN ARE FOR!

And now you finally know.

You’ve Been Pickled

The ball came flying over the net but I was ready.  This was it, the final point.  No way were we going to lose 11-0.  How humiliating.  The ball bounced, I swung and missed.  It was right to me but when it bounced it went in a crazy direction and I missed it.  “We’ve been pickled” said Jerry. He must have seen the blank look on my face as he then said “We lost 11-0, that means we got pickled.”  Welcome to the sport that’s sweeping the Nation, played by thousands, mostly old farts, lots of whom used to play tennis.

Pickleball.  A game played on a court smaller than tennis but with a lot of the same ideas.    The paddle looks like a giant ping pong paddle and it’s played with a wiffel ball but you’d be surprised at how far that wiffel ball can go and how crazily it can land when someone who knows what they’re doing spins the ball.

It started innocently when I noticed the clinic for pickleball wanna-be’s at the gym I belong to.  I decided I needed to know what the big deal was so Tom and I went to one.  Then we went again.  The cute guy in charge of the program said he needed substitutes for the league as some people were on vacation.  We jumped right in and volunteered.  My first day I went at the 10am start time and found out it was not one hour, but two hours of play.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous.

 

Meet my team of Larry, Jerry, and Carrie, so of course I told them my name was Mary. Right away Jerry and I lost to Larry and Carrie 11-0.     Now I know what pickled means.  Losing.  “But I just started” I wailed, “I’m a beginner.”  BIG MISTAKE.  Immediately Larry and Carrie smelled blood and slammed spinners across the court to me.  Then when we switched partners, Jerry slammed spinners at me even though we’d just been partners, which I called him on and he pretended he didn’t even know me.  Or they’d hit a soft spinner.  When a soft spinner bounces, it spins off to the left or right depending on how they hit it.  You think you have a shot and find yourself swinging at air. “Don’t worry Mary,” Larry said, “eventually you’ll get the spin.”

If you want to feel body parts that you’ve never felt before and who doesn’t, this sport is for you. So what if I’m writing this with a swollen knee which I can barely walk on, I’m just praying the swelling goes down by the time Wednesday comes so I can get back out there and play again.  No more getting pickled for me!

How about you out there?  How many of you play this fun game?  Any good or bad experiences to share?