Bits and Pieces…

I’ll start by apologizing to my regular readers for the long hiatus from posting…it was a combination of laziness, and not having much to write about.  Here’s what’s been going on the last little while:

1. Kaylee and Scott celebrated their fourth anniversary together last Monday.  Anna put her artistic touch on a Black Forest Cake I made.  We also made cupcakes, which Hope and Brianna decorated. 

This is the cake...we found out afterwards that neither Kaylee or Scott are fans of maraschino cherries...

Brianna's cupcakes...


Hope's cupcakes...


The cake recipe was from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook…I’d like to try pairing it with my brownie recipe for a “chocolate overdose” dessert…maybe a layer of each with chocolate ganache in between?  Yummy!

2. Jim made a delicious turkey soup with the remains of our Christmas bird and some more of our garden veggies, and served it with awesome homemade biscuits.  That was a good supper!

Jim's soup and biscuits...delicious!

3. Jim was on vacation last week, but spent almost every day doing something IT-related…a great deal of time was spent building my dad’s computer for him (Christmas present).  We installed it at the bookstore on Wednesday (the same day I was running late, and Dad decided I wasn’t coming and left ten minutes early, without me!)…unfortunately, neither Jim or I remembered to feed the parking meter out front in the afternoon, and we got a parking ticket!  On Saturday about lunchtime, Dad’s monitor “went black.”  We didn’t find out about it until Sunday morning about 9, when we came down to find a note he’d left us.  If he’d called us at one of the three phones we have between us, we could have fixed it for him Saturday (my dad’s picture is in Webster’s under “passive-aggressive”)!  I discovered this morning that the monitor had bitten the dust…luckily my old one was still out back, and I got it hooked up with no help from my techie guy…I was pretty proud of myself! 

4. Last week, I was honoured to be asked by my blogging buddy and fellow Ohioan, Maura at 36 x 37, to be a guest host at her blog while she is offline this week.  You can find me over there on Thursday with a post from when I had five loyal readers my early days.  It was neat to get the invitation…it’s lovely to know that someone likes (and trusts) your writing enough to put it on their blog!   I told Maura that I finally felt like “one of the cool kids” (the other writers who are filling in are also on my Blogroll).

5. I have a famous visitor coming in the next couple of weeks…all very hush-hush for now, but of course, I’ll be blogging about her visit!  We’ll be showing her the highlights of Saint John, New Brunswick…she’s never been in the Maritimes before!

6. We got a big bunch of books in on Thursday…17 garbage bags full…yes, I did say “garbage bags.”  Believe it or not, they’d been thrown in the back of a pickup truck!  It was all anybody could do to lift them, and of course, all the corners were ripping through.  What a mess!  At least there were some decent books in the lot.  That was a first in ten years…it amazes me how stupid people can be, especially with valuables!

7. Devin went to driving school last week.  He had some bad luck in the classroom simulator the first day…I asked him on Thursday after he got home if he’d hit anything that day: “I don’t think so,” he replied.  Probably not the best answer…he reported that at least when he had hit something, he didn’t scream and take his hands off the steering wheel the way the girls in the class did!

8. I was pleasantly surprised at the reaction/support to my last post…so far, we’re doing well with our “experiment.”  Anna and Brianna de-decorated the Christmas tree on Friday, and Jim dismantled it (that’s probably a record for early removal!).  I almost “slipped” on Saturday, when Anna demanded I make breakfast for her.  I was making my own anyway (the same thing), so Jim suggested I do it at the same time in a larger pan (I was going to make mine first, and then hers, after she got out of the shower).   Anna floored me yesterday by asking what I needed help with while I was trying to get dinner ready (I needed someone to take stuff out of the washer and dryer, and put more clothes in, which she did).  Anna and Hope have even been getting along better!

9. Anna’s friend, Celia, came over on Saturday for a sleepover.  It was her first time visiting.  Jake liked her as long as she was either sitting or lying down (or feeding him treats)…standing up, not so much!  Luckily, Celia works part-time in a veterinary hospital, so was fairly comfortable with our neurotic dog.

10. I am now the proud owner of a “pastry cloth.”  After a search through Saint John’s kitchen stores, I finally found what I was looking for at Decor 8 in Brunswick Square…a thick cotton cloth especially made for rolling out dough.  It even came with a rolling pin cover: $10 plus tax.  It will make things easier not having to use wax paper!

11. Elise and her parents were here for a visit last night.  Elise’s vocabulary of words (and signs) is growing quickly…that was the first time I’d heard her say “NO”!  I warned her parents that Kaylee had hit “the terrible twos” at eighteen months (Elise was 16 months old yesterday).  I’m working on trying to get Elise to say “Gramma.”  She is also having fun with the Elmo drum set that her sadistic “Uncle Ben” got her for Christmas…glad those things stay at her house! 

12. The kids go back to school tomorrow, after the longest Christmas break ever!  We’re all happy!


Filed under blogging, cooking, family, food, friends, rants

44 responses to “Bits and Pieces…

  1. planejaner

    I was wondering which cat had your tongue! Sounds like it’s been a myriad of things.
    That’s funny about Scott and Kaylee not liking the cherries…

    blessings as you head back into “real life”!

  2. Those IT guys are great to have around. I just used up the last of the Christmas ham. I guess the season is really over now!

  3. This was a long season, wasn’t it? Glad your family life is on an even kiel.

  4. After your last post I was wondering whether you’d had to go underground!

    Glad you had a great holiday season. Those cupcakes sure look good.

  5. The dinner and desserts look wonderful. Hope and Brianna did a wonderful job on the cupcakes. The cake you and Anna made was beautiful and picture perfect. Jim’s soup would be welcome at my home anyday. Looking forward to your post over on Maura’s blog this week. How fun!

    My girls headed back to college classes today and Jack started his first day of daycare. I wish I could read his mind for his interpretation of his day.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jeanne! Was this Jack’s first time at day care? I remember how hard it was leaving Hope there when she was six months old (I was able to be home with the other girls until they were 18 months old). I hope he had a good day! Wendy

  6. Those wonderful pictures of food are making me hungry. This late at night it is NOT a good thing. Curious to find out who this famous visitor is going to be.

    Bet you’ll be glad to have the kids back in school. 🙂

    • Thanks, Laura…my will-power has been fairly good the last little bit…I just opened the box of chocolate cherries Jim gave me for Christmas last night, and only ate two! I’m pretty excited about our visitor too! Back to school is a wonderful thing, except for the extracurricular driving! Wendy

  7. Wondering where you went! Providing IT for parents is a thankless task. My parents used to click every link anyone would forward them, so, of course, their machine had more viruses than a day care class in flu season.

  8. I’m also not a fan of maraschino cherries, but gosh, the cupcakes look delicious! Good to hear from you, my friend! I’m glad to know all is well with your world!

  9. I too have been completely out of the picture for the past while … will explain soon. Lovely to read about what you’ve been up to, Wendy – you’re such a wonderful cook/baker/homemaker – it always feels cosy over at your blog!
    Sunshine xx

  10. Reliable sources say to expect your guest very soon. Hide all sharp objects.

    The drum set is a classic gift. My brother loved buying noisy stuff for my son…then he had two kids.

  11. Missed you and glad you’re back.

    Don’t you just love aunts and uncles who give noisy gifts? Do you remember those toddler toys that had a plastic dome lid and little balls inside that popped all around hitting the plastic when it was pushed? I hated those things and surprise, surprise, an aunt gifted that to my daughter. Ha!

    Excellent that your guest blogging. I know it will be great.
    Hugs, Diane

    • Thanks, Diane! I remember those toys…we called them “poppers.” I abhor any toy that makes unnecessary noise! I remember Kaylee’s uncle and aunt giving us finger paint for her…I responded in kind once they had children by buying them toy musical instruments! The guest blogging is a fun thing…nice to be asked! Hugs, Wendy

  12. Welcome back, and I am looking forward to Thursday! What a great (and well-deserved) compliment to you. The food looks yummy, and you reminded me I do need a pastry cloth, after all these years. Ah, just thinking about 17 garbage bags of books…

    • Thanks, Rene…I remember commenting to the sales clerk about how much cleaner the new pastry cloth was than the one I remember my mom using for years…it was thick with grease, a lovely shade of beige!

      We have finished working our way through the garbage bags…there was definitely some wheat among the chaff! Wendy

  13. You’ve been cooking up a storm! One more and you’d have 13 for a 13 Thursday post. I’m curious about your visitor.

  14. Know what its like, I’ve been kind of behind in my blogging too. But I don’t have to live up to the incredible output that you do. And a guest blogger, how cool.

  15. Hiatus? What hiatus?

    No worries Wendy…you’ve been baking. All is forgiven when recipes are shared. 😉

  16. Pictures look delicious. Glad you’re back though! I’m very intrigued by your upcoming visitor – a little suspense is a great thing. Look forward to reading your post on 36×37.

    (The “I don’t think so” answer is great!)

    • Thanks, Amy! Cake was finished last night (Kaylee and Scott didn’t take it home…oh, darn!). We do still have cupcakes in the freezer… I’m pretty excited about our visitor too! Wendy

  17. That cake looks really good. That would be terrific for breakfast.

    Elise’s acquisition of the word “No” might be helpful when your visitor shows up…

    • Hmmm…hadn’t thought about cake for breakfast, Chase…I tend to eat more traditional things for breakfast, like bagels! You probably have a clue about the identity of my visitor…you’re right…Elise could come in handy! Thanks for stopping by! Wendy

  18. It’s wonderful to have you back 🙂 I was beginning to wonder! Looking forward to reading your piece on Maura’s blog! I feel the same way sometimes…like there’s nothing blog-worthy happening in my Life and of course not everything in Life is something I want to share.

    Loved reading about all the stuff that went on with you though and it’s always good to see one of your cakes. It’s a pity neither Kaylee nor Scot is a fan. I liked the looks of that soup and those biscuits! You’re lucky to have a man who knows his way around the kitchen 🙂 As for the terrible 2’s – I’m waiting for Ishaan to turn three in April so he out grows them or do they last until 4?? If so, I’m done for 😛

    Hugs, H.

    • Thanks, Harsha…I’m looking forward to guesting at Maura’s too! I think Kaylee and Scott liked the cake part all right…they just weren’t crazy about the cherries! Jim’s soup and biscuits were delicious…he’s promised to make a turkey dinner for us on Sunday…I’m just going to stay out of the kitchen! I don’t know what to tell you about Ishaan…after he turns three, he’ll be in the “Why?” stage, where you’ll be required to come up with a reason for everything in the universe! That was a tough one for me! Hugs, Wendy

  19. Glad to see you back, Wendy — we missed you! However, you’ve got a lot of fodder to post about now. I remember when my son was doing driver ed; that’s quite a milestone in a young person’s life (and while you never quit worrying when they’re behind the wheel, it does free up your “taxi duties”!!)

  20. Hippie Cahier

    Note to self: eat before visiting Wendy’s blog. The cake and cupcakes look scrumpdillyicious.

    The pastry cloth will change your life. Congratulations.

    Brace yourself for your famous visitor. 🙂

    • Thanks, Hippie…not sure how the pastry cloth will change my life…hmmm! Looking forward to my visitor’s arrival…it’s snowing like crazy right now…hope she brings her parka! Wendy

  21. The soup and biscuits look sooo good. I had to scroll past the cupcakes quickly, as I am trying to lose weight and I have no will power…lol Great post, Wendy!

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