The Boomerang Easter Cake

Every year my sons’ school does this fund-raiser where they raffle off Easter cakes that have been made by parents. It’s a sweet deal for the school – all they have to do is photocopy raffle tickets and draw a bunch of names (and they don’t even do that themselves; there are two moms from the home & school association that take care of it).  The parents do all the baking, and the kids buy the raffle tickets. Cha-ching.

Last year I made this cake, and my son won one in the draw. He chose a store-bought coconut cake that tasted rather like cardboard.  Most of it got thrown away, ’cause no one really enjoyed it.

This year, I made a vanilla sheet cake, let it cool, then cut it into an egg shape. (While it was cooking, my husband asked what smelled so good. When I told him it was cake, he asked, “You made it from scratch? Like with flour and stuff?”) Anyway, the cake was frosted with buttercream icing, and then I decorated it with coloured stripes of jelly beans, smarties, and tinted frosting. It turned out really nice!

Oldest son and I walked to school this morning, cake in tow, in the rain. The cake made it there intact, I dropped it off, and just kind of hoped whoever got it would enjoy it. Go to pick son up this afternoon, and he won a cake again. Guess which one he picked? Yep, got my cake back. And now we’re all about to have a piece. 🙂

At least the boy has good taste!


Now Appearing On …

This week I found a cool place called Oomph – it’s being touted as a “MySpace for grownups”. It’s run by the folks behind the Oxygen Network.

I signed up and started a blog there (’cause one can never have too many blogs, right? Right?) and you can visit me there at I’m focusing the blog content on 90s music so far, which is what I’ve been obsessed with lately.

Also, I’ve been officially accepted at Garden and Hearth, to write for their Housekeeping section. I can hear my mother laughing at the mere thought, but I’m hoping it’ll become a great resource. The people there seem really friendly and genuine, so I’m looking forward to being there for a long time. My topic site won’t be open for a while yet, but I’ll be sure to link it up once it’s live.

Space Ark!

It’s rare that I read something and actually, physically laugh out loud until I can’t stop and wind up doubled over and in tears. But that’s exactly what happened this afternoon when I decided to kill some time (that I could have been using productively, I might add) and check out Miss Snark’s blog.

What started the hysterics? This, er, query letter, I guess you could call it, in the very loosest sense of the term. (You may have to scroll up to the top of the page to read it.) Naturally I had to follow the link and visit the Space Ark! site, and my oh my, was I in for a treat! You see, Space Ark! is a science fiction novel that is currently being “shopped” to agents and publishers. Not only does the author expect potential representation to purchase a copy of the book to peruse on the off chance they’ll rep it, but he also has some very clear instructions for said potential agents and publishers.

But really, the writing on the Space Ark! website speaks for itself. As amusing as the colourful fonts and seemingly random use of punctuation may be, you can’t really experience Space Ark! without reading the excerpt. I think my personal favourite sentence is:

On those three days, Hearth’s inhabitants were drawn irresistibly outside for all three evenings to enjoy the colorful luminescence produced as another enduring reminder of its creators, and made just for pleasure too, for no one ever grew tired of strolling nightly each month on those eves to gaze awestruck skyward to the night heavens if only to delight in their beloved nocturnal, and sacred, arc of light!

I’m pretty sure this guy also ran his entire manuscript through the MS Word replacement tool and changed all uses of “who” to “whom,” just to sound smarter. Random capitalization is fun too, don’t you think?

What really got me laughing until I cried though were some of the comments on Miss Snark’s post. The tears were flowing so fast that I almost lost a contact lens. I almost feel sorry for this author, who is so obviously clue-free, except that it’s just too damn funny.

Live on, Space Ark! Live on!

March Break is Only Hours From Being Over!

Can I get a “woohoo?”  This year, the kids have turned into regular little social butterflies. That’s great, ’cause having friends and getting out there and having fun is what being a kid is all about. On the other hand, my house looks like Taz was here for an extended stay, and to say that I’ve been able to get little work done is a gross understatement.

Regular blogging will resume tomorrow. As will regular life. I don’t know what I’m going to do when summer rolls around!

Updates on Tea and Thievery

Now there’s a title you’ve probably never seen before!

First off, I finally got around to placing my order for some yummy loose tea, which I blogged about here. Delivery was pretty quick, even though they had run out of one of the flavours and had to wait for a shipment – which they kindly e-mailed me about.  I ended up getting five different flavours: White Chai, Tutti Frutti (herbal – for the kids to make iced tea with), Oolong Orange Blossom, Creme Caramel Rooibos, and English Breakfast. They included two samples (I LOVE samples!) of Chocolate Chai and Strawberry herbal.

I haven’t tried the herbal teas yet since I’m not a big fan, but the others are fabulous. I could easily live on the White Chai – it’s subtly spiced and quite good with just a bit of sugar and milk. The Orange Blossom is similar to Orange Pekoe that you can get just about anywhere, but tastes fresher.  Creme Caramel tastes really good, but the tea itself is so fine that some of it escaped from my tea ball and ended up floating around the top of my cup. And English Breakfast is always good! So two thumbs up for Lee-Middleton – I’ll be ordering from them again.

The other thing I wanted to update is the situation with the blogger who’s stealing my Apprentice recaps.  I had reported this person to Blogger and Google, and received a form letter back. They apparently have a protocol in place for situations like this (and since Blogger is owned by Google, it’s the same thing for both). I have to fill out a form and have it notarized, then mailed or faxed back to them before they will even consider doing anything about it. That’s fine.

The thing that gets me is that they strongly warn you to think twice about doing this, since the person you’re complaining about can turn around and sue you for in excess of $100,000 if you can’t prove copyright ownership. But they don’t tell you what type of documentation you need to prove this. I mean, I know that I wrote the article(s) in question, and the blogger was dumb enough to include my e-mail address (which contains my website URL in it) in his copy/paste job. But what else would I need? There’s a copyright notice on the page that the recap is posted on – is that enough? I have no idea.

Still not sure what to do about this, if anything. Suggestions are welcome.

Finally, A Poll I Can Get Behind!

The BBC recently did a poll of 28,000 people, asking them if certain countries had a positive or negative influence on the world. Okay, so the question itself is wide open, but let’s overlook that for a moment. Guess who came out on top? That’s right, Canada baby! Woo.

People who answered the poll came from 27 different countries. The top three were, in order, Canada, Japan, and France. The bottom three? The United States, Iran, and Israel. Interesting. The expert quoted here opines that countries who seem to aggressively pursue military power are the ones viewed as having the most negative effect on the world.

So, if we’re being objective, there’s a lot of wiggle room in the question itself. There are many, many ways that a country as a whole can have an effect on the world. It’s not specified what sort of effect or influence is in question. But still … we’re number one! We’re number one!

What Ever Happened To …

Concrete Blonde? Anyone South of the border know them? They were a big favourite of mine back in the late 80s/early 90s. No idea if they’re still around though.