Monday, March 29, 2010

Whoopie Pies

Colleen, my very classy and sassy Cincinnatti friend, graciously shared her whoopie pie recipe with me recently. Since I was born a Buckeye (but claim Tarheel status as well), and whoopie pies seem to hold a solid Ohio connotation (and pack the Amish junk food punch), I decided they needed to become a part of my repetoire. And sweet German Jesus, do I ever like those things! They are like XXXXL double decker cupcakes with a sickly sweet and creamy buttercream icing in between. I copied Colleen and made the edges of the cream filling decorative, and upon the recommendation of a co-worker I adorned the things with rainbow sprinkles. The effect was intoxicatingly carnival-like, both visually and blood sugar-wise. I have every intention of making as many whoopie pies as possible in life. My next big idea is a series of light rock whoopie pies, each individual one containing a light rock themed message appropriate to the eater, kind of like a cupcake version of my light rock cake tradition.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today at Work

I don't write about work much, but it's not because interesting things don't happen at work. They do. Pretty much every day. I usually laugh hard at least one time per work day, usually more, at something someone says or does. Quality stuff. And being a gardener by trade, I am privy to my fair share of special moments in the non-human world- the first breeze of the year that smells like spring, a wild turkey fanning its tail to its lady friends in privacy on the country club golf course, a nest of spring eggs in a climbing rose, a snake that ventures out into the sun in February, fiddleheads uncurling day by day, the mysteriously chocolatey smell of a fringe tree in bloom, mating earthworms, a lily of the valley tucked behind my ear as a perfume all day. Stuff like that. Today at work, I simulateously witnessed the bastardization of the name "Sergio" into the name "Savior" by a good ole Western NC mulch blower who happens to love dried okra and McDonald's food, and who says that he knows his Spanish don't sound right but there's gotta be room in there for a little Country- (I agreed and said that's called "wiggle room") AND a phenomenon of nature in the form of a male cardinal protecting his territory against his own reflection in the side view mirrors and windows of my truck. He was so bothered, and he went at it for hours. He would fly down to the truck and attack the side view mirror/ side window a few times in a row. Then he would go up into the tree and tweet and sing like crazy- all bothered like- and then he would start the whole thing over. I didn't want the poor disillusioned fellow to wear himself out (or get a head trauma) so at lunch I folded in the side view mirrors so he couldn't see himself anymore. Did that stop him? No. Later in the afternoon I spotted him back at it again in his reflection on the side window. I wonder if he thought he finally chased the bastard away when I drove off at the end of the job... There was dookie all over the side of my truck, and I remembered a Car Talk caller who had the same problem- bird dookie all over the car all the time from a bird being bothered by his own reflection. Maybe they are not hard wired to comprehend the significance of a car mirror. It makes me wonder about all the things that are going on all around us that we as humans just don't comprehend at all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Keep it comin'

There is nothing quite like some good old fashioned mail. You know, the kind that involves paper that someone wrote on and bundled up and took down the post office and bought a stamp and gave it to someone who gave it to someone else who gave it to a slew of other people to sort, ship and carry it, and eventually someone brings it to your mailbox. (Hopefully). It's exponentially better than an email or a text message or, hell, even a well crafted blog post in most cases. Am I wrong?

Yesterday I hit the jackpot with mail. Somehow I got to be the lucky recipient of not one, not two, but three packages sent to me in the mail.

Package # 1: A lovely invitation to a wedding at Hickory Nut Gap Farm from two lovely people who I believe first got together at a wedding at the Mountain Magnolia Inn some years ago

Package # 2: A mix CD of songs all about groundhogs (in belated celebration of Groundhog's Day- a favorite of mine), complete with fantastic artwork on the front.

The artist and the compiler of music and the person who sent me the package are one and the same, and her name is Colleen. You can find her at The Houston Social Blog (see my blog list). She's a radical person who doubles as a functional member of society in Cincinnatti. She appreciates art, good food, traditions, humor and community. She also included in the package a recipe for whoopie pie, which I decided I needed to go ahead and make. Whoa! Colleen's husband said they are like homemade Little Debbie's, and I think I must concur.

Package # 3: An "eclectic" bundle of "papers" from dear Ms Emily from the Staton Embassy. Some of the "papers" include (but are not limited to):
* a Git-R-Done temporary tattoo
* notes from a bizarre "sunrise ceremony" that we both attended more than 10 years ago (her own notes on yellow legal paper). Extremely funny.
* A brochure of a cleaning company that very thoroughly states over and over how thoroughly they will clean their clients' cobwebs and knicknacks
*pictures from an old yearbook from the 80s
* an article entitled "Native American Herbal Prescription Sticks"
*an article entitled "Sew a Safety Vest for your Dog"
*an article entitled "An Adventure in Hypthermia"
*some Krispy Kreme valentines
* a few other random tidbits

I am tickled pink with yesterday's mail. And I continue to be most impressed with the high quality of personnel which are my friends. Keep it comin'!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fun with the twins

I am having a blast. I am spending a stretch of days with my dear old friend Julie- you may remember her from previous posts. She is the one who recently had the twins for whom my mom and I made the blankets. The twins, Forest and Lily, are now a month old, and I am here with them helping with the daily grind for a few days. The babies, having lost a bit of weight after birth, need feeding every 3 hours or less. Feeding both of them usually takes an hour minimum and sometimes up to an hour and a half or more. That leaves Julie an hour and a half to eat, sleep, bathe, return phone calls, use the bathroom, or do anything else. I am helping wherever I can. Julie prefers to nurse them separately, so she can dedicate all of her attention to each one, as they are still working on learning how to do an excellent latch. However, sometimes they both get viciously hungry at the same time. In those circumstances, the tandem football hold is employed, but assistance is needed- stimulating the baby to keep from falling asleep and such. I also have been doing a lot of diaper changing, swaddling, dancing, singing, rocking, finger pacifying, and joking around. The schedule is quite tiring, but I am truthfully having a blast. It is such a lovely way to spend time with Julie. We have had some really wacky and funny moments at 3 in the morning, when one of us, delirious with fatigue, makes a ludicrous comment and we both nearly fall over busting up. It is really, really funny to see Julie laughing her head off with a baby on each boob, everyone shaking up and down with laughter. Some very creative lullabies are being crafted during these wee hours- by everyone. Jeremy, the husband and dad, is fun also, although, we are alternating helping and sleeping, and have not had quite as much hang out time as we usually do (or did before the babies).
Also, may I mention how much I absolutely love Forest and Lily. I don't know if it is normal to love someone else's kids so much, but considering Julie and I are "blood sisters" (achieved with co-mingling our blood with a finger prick sometime in our teens), the kids are practically blood to me too. When I look at and hold each one, my sentiment is 100% love- even when they are screaming their brains out and peeing all over me. It's very cool. I repeat, it's very cool.