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By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
As mentioned I like to Google random words in my spare time. My favorite word of late has been “Cupcake
.” Reason being I’m thinking of making some cupcakes for Soren’s first birthday which isn’t far off.
A one-year-birthday is a big deal but a large party with clowns and bump-n-jumps seems frivolous. I’m thinking a few family members with pizza and cupcakes is going to be the little affair for my big man. A one hour event
Anyway so I Googled “cupcake.” I was completely stunned. There are thousands of sites and blogs devoted to the mini-cake. I had no idea!
Seems in the larger metro areas like L.A. and N.Y.C. cupcakes are all the rage! There are tons of little bakeries devoted to gourmet cupcake baking. They have cute names like the Cupcake Royale
, the California Cupcake Company
, and Sprinkles
One article claims that cupcakes are the “New Cocaine
.” How many do you have to eat to get that effect?
There are posh skater-style stores devoted to cupcake t-shirts and hoodies like Johnny Cupcakes
. (I really like some of these.)
And sweet blogs galore!!! There’s an endless foodie circle of bloggers that devote page after page to their latest “I can bake better than you
It’s the newest hottest wedding trend to serve white cupcakes instead of the traditional wedding cake.
I started to wonder if I could have a new career in cupcake baking. Is this town ready for an entire store devoted to the cupcake? What about other mini sweet treats? Maybe a store reminiscent of European bakeries which sell three bite delicacies like tiramisu and banana eclairs? I’d sell cakes with cutsey names like Palisade Peachy Paradise and Bookcliff Spice and Red Dirt cakes. I’d cater weddings with pure white mini cakes covered in pale pink marzipan and topped with live edible pansies. Or maybe I’d make inspirational cakes for church socials with words like truth, devotion, and love scrolled in rich buttercream.
nice daydream. It all starts with the first dozen. There are thousands upon thousands of Internet recipes.
I was planning on making some cakes out of a box. Maybe I’d throw in a handful of chocolate chips if I were feeling exceptionally creative. But after this wide search, it’s just not going to be good enough. I’m now thinking of chocolate raspberry with blue buttercream frosting. Or maybe strawberry with cream cheese frosting decorated with blue #1’s.
I don’t know. Now I’m overwhelmed. Any suggestions?
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I love living in Grand Junction for too many reasons to list.
One of which is the people. I've met many wonderful, interesting, intelligent, funny, friendly folks here in the Grand Valley.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an equal number of mannerless— I'm trying to think of an appropriate word that I can use on a family-friendly Web page ... let's go with — dolts living here in the valley as well.
You know the type, the people who won't let you merge over when you have your blinker on, but instead speed up. Yeah, those guys.
It seems that whenever even a semi-big name band or musician comes to town, the dolts think it's their cue to gather with like-minded individuals and put on the dunce parade.
I've been to two shows in Grand Junction where the performer had to stop the show to point out to the dolts who were causing annoying and/or dangerous mayhem that behaving one's self in public is not so much an option as a requirement, especially when one is in a full house.
Now, I'm not such a prude as to think that these doltish folks would act like this everyday. I realize that these mannerless clods, more than likely, had ingested compounds of some sort that facilitated such behavior. But that is no excuse.
If you cannot hold your liquor, then you should stay home and annoy your family — not me. Don't under any circumstances come out and annoy and/or endanger the rest of the ruly crowd.
I love going to shows. I love standing at the front of the stage and singing and dancing with abandon. I've even been in a mosh pit or two in my time. So I'm not some wallflower who wants everyone to sit quietly with their hands folded in their laps.
What I want is for people to act with respect towards their fellow human beings.
It is my belief that we parents need to instill in our children that there's a difference between having a good time and acting a fool.
Monday, January 8, 2007
I have never been a big fan of the comics. This is true in spite of the fact I learned to read by looking at the Sunday comics and eventually all the words on the page were deciphered to go along with the pictures. I have always been puzzled by the multitude of people who freak out whenever we change something on our comics pages. I bite my tongue to avoid saying something like, “Get a life.”
Until I started reading “ZITS”.
This cartoon should be required reading for any parent going through the teenage years. I swear the characters live at my house. I clip it out several times a week to share with Alex. In fact, I told him yesterday that he should call the cops because they have stolen his identity through this comic strip. I rarely, if ever, miss reading it. In fact, if my employers ever mess with it, I will be one of those people flooding our switch board to freak out.
You won’t find the comic on our web pages. But I’m telling ya, it’s worth the price of home delivery. Oh yeah - call us at 242-1919 and we canl set you up with that. Or go back to our home page and do it on-line.
Have fun reading ZITS! We all need to laugh more - especially at our own situations!
Friday, January 5, 2007
Last but not least . . .
Ten Things That Make Me Happy
1. A sincere “I love you” from my son, or anyone else for that matter
2. Having my family close at hand
3. A bottle of really good red wine for less than ten bucks
4. An up-close parking spot
5. A haircut I like the first time
6. Prayers answered the way I think they should be answered
7. Going on a picnic - anytime, anywhere, any weather
8. A full tank of gas, a clean car, my favorite CD’s and an open road (OK that’s four, but they’re related)
9. I can still do at least ten real push-ups
10. Making my son laugh
Nine Places I’ve Visited
1. King Hassan’s palace in Morocco
2. La Alhambra
3. Haleakala Crater
4. Harry’s Farmer’s Market
5. Praia de Roca
7. La Catedral de Sevilla
8. Canyonview Stadium 14
9. Monterey Bay Aquarium
Eight Random Things You Might Not Know About Me
1. My tan lines from Hawaii are beginning to fade
2. I won the school spelling bee in 6th grade
3. My spice cabinet is alphabetized
4. There are certain crimes I would commit if they ever become de-criminalized
5. I have never seen “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
6. I once drove all night with friends to get tickets to a Grateful Dead concert (about which I remember little)
7. I love to make and eat soup, any kind of soup
8. I own t-shirts that are older than my son
Seven Things I Want To Do Before I Die
2. Win Powerball
3. Have grandchildren
4. Visit Scotland and Ireland
5. Get Botox
6. Be on an episode of Boston Legal
7. Have time to say a Hail Mary
Six Ways To Win My Heart
1. Tell me I’m a good mother
2. Take me on a trip somewhere
3. Compliment my son
4. Be my handyman and fix stuff
5. Don’t argue with me about ANYTHING when I have PMS
6. Support me even if you don’t agree with me
Five Things I Don’t Like
1. People who throw their cigarette butts out of their car windows
2. Any so-called “reality” TV
3. People who litter, especially in the wilderness
5. People who don’t clean the microwave at work after they use it
Four Things I’m Afraid Of
1. Anything bad happening to my son
2. Choking, drowning or some other violent death like murder
3. Getting cancer or any life-threatening illness
4. Being the only survivor after nuclear war
Three Ways To Turn Me Off
1. Vote for a candidate or issue without bothering to become informed about either
2. Blame all your problems on other people or events and refuse to take responsibility
3. Pick your teeth in public after eating
Two Things I Wish I Had
1. My original Woodstock poster
2. The proverbial magic bullet
One Thing On My Mind Right Now
1. That I actually get paid to do this
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, January 4, 2007
This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
Ten Random Things You Might Not Know About Me!
1. I grew up "off-the-grid" often without running water or electricity.
2. I wear socks to bed and then kick them off before I fall asleep. There's always a nest of disgarded socks at the foot of my bed.
3. I'm passive-aggressive.
4. I like to search random words like "tiny pants" "crackhead" and "europeans" into search engines to see what comes up.
This is one of my favorite restaraunts although I've only been there twice.
6. I like scary movies because they make me giggle.
7. I put ketchup on my eggs.
8. I'm klutzy and socially awkward at times.
9. I'm secretly shy.
10. I read A LOT! I'll read anything including shampoo bottles while I'm waiting for the conditioner to set in.
Nine Places I've Visited:
The White House
The Sistine Chapel
The Red Sea
Eight Ways To Win My Heart
1. Take me somewhere...anywhere.
2. Surprise Me.
3. Remember something random I've said.
4. Save something I've given you.
5. Be there for me in my weakest moments.
6. Remember my name and how to spell it.
7. Let ME be nice to YOU!
Seven Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1. Have more kids.
2. Take those kids backpacking in Europe, to Disneyland, and to Yellowstone.
3. Eat at Tavern on the Green
4. Retire Rich.
5. Value and use all the time I have left.
6. Catch a really really big fish...then let it go.
7. Tell my family I love them every single day.
Six Things I'm Afraid Of.
1. Not having any emergency food in my house.
2. Losing my family.
3. My teeth falling out.
5. People stalking me on this blog.
6. Getting old.
Five Things I Don't Like:
1. I don't like when Internet commenters use acronyms like DD for darling daughter or LOL for laugh out loud. I can't always figure it out and it's annoying....FFS!
2. Drivers that turn into the far lane....It's illegal and annoying.
3. When people stand too close to me in the line at the grocery store.
5. Rude people.
Four Ways To Turn Me Off
1. Make fun of me.
2. Not listen.
3. Be cranky for no reason
4. Be boring.
Two Things That Make Me Happy
One Thing On My Mind Right Now
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
It's a meme.
This is the first time I've ever completed a meme. I see them all the time on other people's blogs and Richie thought it would be a good way for our reader (all one of you) to get to know us a little better.
So here it is, my 10 things meme:
Ten random things you might not know about me (this is more like 10 things that you know about me but wish you didn’t):
10. I like cake.
9. I like to ride my bike around the block again and again and again (and I would do it more often but I worry what the neighbors might think).
8. I almost always have my toenails painted.
7. I won’t let anyone else do the laundry because I like it folded exactly the way my mom taught me.
6. I file, clip and/or pick at my fingernails when I’m trying to write something.
5. My Dwight Schrute bobblehead is my favorite Christmas present.
4. I enjoy public speaking.
3. I love grilled asparagus and steamed Brussel sprouts.
2. I love reality TV so much that my friend and I invented a game we play while we watch Survivor.
1. I love movies about sports, especially ones where the underdog wins.
Nine places I've visited:
8. Truckee, Calif.
7. Miami Beach
5. Las Vegas
4. New York City
3. Washington, D.C.
1. New Orleans
Eight ways to win my heart:
8. Give me chocolate
7. Say nice things to me
6. Be funny
5. Cook me dinner (and breakfast and lunch)
4. Bring me diet vanilla sodas
3. Laugh at my jokes
2. Sing along when I play the guitar
1. Love my kid
Seven things I want to do before I die:
7. Travel abroad
6. Watch my kids become happy, successful adults
5. Make my parents proud
4. Not have to worry about money
3. Finish painting my house
2. Learn patience
1. Be a better wife and friend
Six things I'm afraid of (I had to fight the urge to edit this to read “Six things
of which I’m afraid”):
6. Losing a family member
5. My kid getting sick
4. People who leer and breathe heavy
3. Scary movies
2. Giant bugs
1. Whirling blades
Five things I don't like:
4. Drunk people who think they’re interesting
3. Bad breath
2. Being touched by strangers
1. Boring people
Four ways to turn me off:
4. Be insecure
3. Be late
2. Drone on about things that aren’t funny and/or interesting to me
1. Don’t take responsibility for your own actions
Three things I do every day:
3. Read (newspapers, blogs, books …)
2. Laundry (it’s never done)
Two things that make me happy:
2. Black turtleneck sweaters
1. My family
One thing on my mind right now:
1. My aching stomach
Now, it's Richie
's turn. So, tag Richie, you're it!
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Personally, I’m glad the holidays are behind us. They were great, but I always feel overwhelmed and a bit out of sorts by the need to be “perky”, a trait that does not come naturally to me. A good time was had by all in the Lickers tribe. Well, the teenagers might argue they were alternately, bored, embarrassed and frustrated by the amount of time they were forced to spend with family.
Yes, as Richie pointed out, I did get a digital camera for Christmas. Thank you, Dan. As soon as Alex saw it, he jacked it for his own. He’s the only one who knows how to use it. He loaded the software (software?), explained with as much patience as a rattlesnake to his incredibly stupid mother how to hook up the thingie to the USB port (USB port?), and get the pictures out of the camera. And then what? OK, so they’re now in the computer. And to look at them I can’t just flip through the package like the old days? Oh, actually you can hook the camera up to the TV, so when company comes over you can treat them to a full 32” of your mug.
Dan called me the day after Christmas and asked what my plans were for the day.
“Well, I’ve dedicated the day to figuring out how to use the camera.”
“OK. I’ll call you in an hour. If you haven’t figured it out by then, we’re through.”
Obviously I’ve become the incredibly stupid girlfriend as well! Cut me some slack, dudes. It comes with three manuals in four different languages! The good news is I’m up to page 47 in the English version.
This is the year I required Alex to purchase Christmas gifts for his parents. I want him to learn that there is joy in giving. His limit was five bucks per parental unit. I didn’t care what he got, as long as he shopped, paid and wrapped on his own. He did a darn good job. Knowing his mama’s soft spot, I received a beautifully wrapped (by him) box of chocolate truffles.
I’m pretty sure I have a picture of me opening it somewhere on the home computer. When I get to page 53, I can probably figure out how to share it!
Happy New Year everyone!
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, January 1, 2007
Walking in the door after a long day at work and there wasn’t a soul in sight.
“Hello?” I called.
“She just puked on the bed!” my hubby says as he emerges from the bedroom with a rag and OxyClean in hand. Eeww…. (Puke....on my new bed!)
“Poor little angel”….I cuddled and kissed her. Her little body convulsed and hot pink goo slid down my back. Eeewww…..
“I think she ate too much yogurt,” hubby informed me.
I didn't even bother to change my shirt and continued with the nightly routine, making Soren bland cereal in case his tum tum bothered him too. He ate a surprisingly large amount before screwing up his face and bugging out his eyes. I knew what was coming and I froze spoon in midair.
Two waves of projectile warm Cream Of Wheat vomit landed in my lap. Eeww.
I wasn’t quite sure how to wiggle out of my puke covered clothes without soiling the carpet or getting it in my hair.
Hubby grabbed the OxyClean and got back to work. “We’re having a Barf-O-Rama!”
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I’m using up the last of my vacation time this week, but I came into the office yesterday to pick something up and dragged Alex along with me. We stopped by the front desk to say hey to Mary and while I was there I went quickly through my mailbox and lo and behold found my cell phone bill.
Flash back about two months ago when I added Alex to my cell phone account and gave him his own phone with stern and explicit warnings about how not to use up minutes and absolutely no text messaging. Any overtime charges or text message charges he incurred would be paid out of his limited income, which amounts to just his monthly stipend that Mother Scrooge pays him.
“Oh good Al, our cell phone bill.” I said as I opened the envelope. I glanced at the balance due and saw it was $20.00 over what it should be.
“Twenty bucks! How did that happen? Al! You have twenty bucks in text messaging charges! At ten cents a piece that’s 200 messages! Two hundred! How do you send and receive that many?! Wait! It had to be during class time when you should have been listening to the teacher!” I kinda screeched.
At this point, Robin bursts out laughing and makes a beeline back to her desk. Mary looks at Alex like a man who is about to have his last meal. Alex gives me the classic shoulder-shrugging-innocent-who-me? teenager look.
On the ride home I reiterated to my offspring that he was financially responsible for those charges. I inquired as to how he now planned to go bowling, and to the movies and ice-skating since the bills in his wallet now belonged to me. Or more accurately to Verizon.
“Just take me to the bank and I’ll get money out of my account.”
“Uh-unh” I said, as in no. “That bank account is your car and college tuition money.”
“Yeah, but it’s my money I can spend it however I want to.”
“In theory, yes. But in reality, you have a mother who’s job it is to teach you that you don’t make bad decisions and then run to the bank and cover them. You’ll be bankrupt in no time. You are not using that money to pay for something you are fully aware never should have happened.”
Anyone who has a teenager (or has ever been one) knows how the rest of the conversation went.
To his credit, he isn’t quite old enough yet to get a “real” job but he can certainly work it off. And as I told him, at fifty cents an hour it shouldn’t take him long. But he had bigger plans. He walks out of his room wearing this:
I had to laugh! But like a cat enjoying swatting around the mouse I remarked, “That sounds tempting, but I’ve already got plans for the hot tub so I’ll be relaxed. For free.”
One last observation – how do you go from no text messaging charges to two hundred in less than a month? In a word – girls. Well, just one girl presently. Hmmmm, more on that later. In the meantime – contact me for cheap labor!
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Due to current circumstances I've had start considering daycare.
I just don't want to think about it really. The whole idea makes me cringe. I've been lucky enough to have family watch the baby thus far but now I'm going to have to seek outside help and it hurts me.
I mean how do you trust people you don't know to look after your baby? And all you have to do is read The Daily Sentinel to know that there is a perv of the week just about every single week and it scares the holy hell out of me.
I've been asking my most trusted friends about their providers and started weighing the pros and cons of in-home vs. parochial and other daycare providers.
To tell the truth I'm just flat scared to leave my kid with someone I don't know. It's that simple.
And, I'm worried about how he will adjust to a change like that....new place, other kids, strange adults. It doesn't sound good.
Then the guilt sets in. How could I be such a terrible parent??? Considering leaving my only son with a stranger? Sticking him out there on his own???