I used to dislike baking. Too much science. You have to get the proportions right or things go really wrong. Not like ‘not my favorite dish’ wrong, like ‘that wasn’t supposed to be a pancake’ wrong. But sometime in the last couple of years I decided that if my sister could bake, so could I. We both have about the same genetic material. I should be able to do it. So my cakes have been getting progressively more elaborate.

I’ve planned my husband’s birthday cake this year doing a couple of things I haven’t done before and I’m afraid I may have overdone it. Since he does most of the shopping I decided it would be easier to tell him what I was doing instead of trying to surprise him. I’m making chocolate coffee cake with chocolate ganache and mochoa creme frosting. The best part is that he seems to like the idea of a chocolate-coffee flavored cake. But I’m a little apprehensive. I’ve never made ganache before and I’ve heard it can be tricky. I also never tried to modify the flavor of a cake before. I’m planning on using Starbucks Via and I can’t find much on using it baking. From what I’ve found, you use it more like a spice, mixing it with your dry ingredients, but there’s no info on how much of it to use. Oh boy! Improvisational baking. ‘Cause that’s worked out so well in the past. I’ll err on the low side and add more to the batter if necessary. I’ll bake the cake tonight and frost it tomorrow. And find someplace to hide it from my cat in the meantime. One time I made a cake, set it on the table and started to walk away. Before I had gone two steps she had jumped up on the table and taken a bite. Finding someplace cat-proof is a necessity.

Rocks, usually in my head

My sister and I were talking about the things that stress us out. For her it was a big print job at work that she couldn’t finish because the toner cartridge ran out, for me it was rocks. She’s worrying about actual work things that she needs to get done and I’m worrying about moving rocks. That nobody but me cares about and it won’t matter if they never get moved except that I’d get tired of walking around them.

It drives me crazy, the things that get stuck in my head, but I think maybe I’ve hit on a new way to decide job priority. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about it? Get it done and get it out of your head.

Got myself up and outside pretty early both days this weekend. I’m not generally an early riser, but at this time of year it gets too hot to work outside pretty quickly. Got the projects that keep nagging at me done and then poked around doing little things and taking pictures. Lots of insect activity going on this time of year.

At tiny moth, no bigger than my fingernail. Cute.



There were lots of these little spiderwebs around.

And milkweed bugs.



A co-worker and I have agreed to give up sugar for thirty days. My co-worker is going whole hog and trying to cut out ALL sugar. No fruit, nothing. I’m just trying to cut out candy, ice cream and processed food high in sugar.

I’ve been having some odd what I think are side effects. My mood fell down a well. Everything seemed like a tragedy. Now I have moods like everyone else, sometimes up, sometimes down, but I don’t usually have wide swings. Sleep was disrupted, too. As of today, that seems to have subsided. My mood is back to normal, been sleeping OK. On the plus side, my appetite seems to have decreased and while sweets are tempting, they are resistible. It really helps my will power that I’ve said that I won’t.

This is how I managed to start bringing my lunch. I said I wasn’t going to have fast food for thirty days, so I had to. Now I bring a simple, easily packed lunch almost every day. And I almost always eat it.

My doctor died and I’m really sad

I had this great doctor. He helped me get through a very rough and frightening time. And he died. Suddenly. Like I saw him a couple of weeks ago and have a prescription in my purse suddenly. When I got the letter from his office I thought maybe I had an overdue bill or something.

All those things that people write for condolences, saddened, shocked, I really feel that. He’d been someone I knew I could go to with my health issues. He’d made me feel like we were partners in my health care. He was kind, conscientious and a little bit weird. Just my kind of person.

This is the first time I’ve felt this way about someone I wasn’t related to. I’ll find another doctor, but I won’t find another him.