30 November 2008

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting *OR* Better late than never

I was supposed to have this posted yesterday, but due to some technical issues with the ridiculous Windows Movie Maker, I couldn't finish until today. (No comments from the "If you wouldn't procrastinate" people, please.)

This month, the Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex of Blondie and Brownie, and Jenny of Foray into Food. And what was this challenge? Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting bearing from Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater, as published on Bay Area Bites. (whew! total mouthful there...hmmm and yes, I've decided that pun was intended.)

If you know me, you would understand how incredibly excited I was about this one. In the end it was mostly about caramelization of sugar and not so much about caramel, but it was still fun, even though it wasn't this mountain of caramelicious nirvana that I dreamt of.

Instead of a boring write-up, here's a "magical" video of what happened... (and what does caramel cake have to do with Riverdance? Only one thing that I know...they are beloved by me.)

20 November 2008

thank God we are a computer-y house

I screwed up. This little bubble popped up in the bottom right corner of my monitor and it demurely asked if I would like to update my bluetooth mouse/keyboard software. Without thought, I responded, "Why yes, little bubble, I would like the newest and best for my computer."

That was last night.

I haven't been able to make the mouse move since. Oh, and the keyboard won't connect either. I manually forced the computer off and then turned it back on (always #1 option in troubleshooting aresenal) and it booted. Then up pops the window explaining to me (again), "Now all we need to do is restart that darn mouse of yours. Just follow these three easy steps..." And that's where it's been for over 24 hours now.

Something is flawed, but wait!!! My husband is one of the greatest computer geniuses alive at this moment. No, I'm not exagerrating. Well, maybe I'm making unsubstantiated claims, but if you know him personally, you'd understand. Anytime I have a problem, and I'm pretty tech-savvy, he just has to walk into the room and all electronics bow to his unspoken will. Sometimes he doesn't even have to touch the trouble-maker and it will snap into shape.

Wellllll, I called Mr. Dug (he's in Pennsylvania this week) and explained my horrifying situation. His response?
"Tricia! Don't you remember when you updated SetPoint last time?! This same thing happened and it took me forever to figure out the problem! Stop updating!"

My response: "Ummm...I think I remember, vaguely. But just think *spoken extra cheerfully* now you know how to fix it and it won't take so long this time...right? he he" *laughter dying slowly away*

So that's where I am right now. I can't access my pictures because I downloaded them all to my hard drive previous to the mouse/keyboard fiasco. Dug takes the USB mouse with him to work on his laptop, so I can't use that one.

That's my cloud. Luckily, there's a few silver linings.

Silver lining #1: Duggy and I both have our own desktops. So I can use his to check email, facebook, and create boring, personal photograph-less blog posts until his return.

Silver lining #2: Duggy comes home tomorrow. He is my Calgon.

Silver lining #3: Before I started the update, I had begun the new Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria download. Even though the mouse and keyboard were disabled, the download finished and when Dug fixes my little "problem" we'll be ready to unleash some terror in the Mines. (The download can take a few hours, so it's awesome that it completed.)

In case you were wondering, I did learn my lesson. Those little bottom-right screen bubbles are not harmless, benevolent creatures. They have an ulterior motive. And when I figure it out, they are all going down!!

PEBKAC...for those who don't know.

11 November 2008

an Oregonian can only stand so much sun

It rained today.

All day.

Cats and dogs, the saying goes. The kind of rain that comes with an Oregon winter storm. Rain that is pouring so hard that the gutters are shooting water out like hoses. It was warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts while the thunder rolled; I was definitely in Texas. But from inside looking out...I was back in Oregon.

I needed that.

I was drying out.

10 November 2008

Amigurumi Fun!

When I'm not working on my babette blanket, my crochet lately has taken me to the magical world of crocheted Japanese stuffed animals or Amigurumi. I let the kids all pick an animal since they are such a quick thing to whip up. They picked a monkey, a bear w/honey pot, a sandwich cookie and a jellyfish. Unfortunately the cookie and jellyfish are MIA, so no pictures of my handiwork there. But you can see them at a wonderfully cute blog I found which features the patterns I used. (Click on "patterns" under the labels section on the right to see all her patterns.) The mouse is for a dear now-four-year-old friend and as soon as I whip something up for her sister whose birthday is fast approaching, will be sending them both off.

The monkey came from a pattern book that I bought about 4 years ago. And yes, the pattern has its arms that long. The nose didn't come out right though. Looks a bit cow-ish to me, but Tank doesn't seem to mind.

Scoochy wanted the bear and honey pot. Also she asked if we could add the bow. How could I refuse such a cute addition? And yes, the head is supposed to be that big. :-)

Here's the little mouse. I think it is the cutest amigurumi I've made. Took this picture and then remembered that I wanted to add a bow but the picture turned out so cute I decided to show you anyway.

Miss Cute Mouse with her bow. Now she's ready for the ball.

09 November 2008

the shnozberries taste like shnozberries!

I snagged the title banner picture for my kids site, Shnozberry Patch, off the internet a long time ago. (Thank you talented, unknown photographer of beautifulness.) I just found out that the plant that I thought encapsulated what a Shnozberry should look like is really called American Beautyberry. And it grows wild here in Texas!!

We thought it would be fitting to have some of our own, so we sowed some berries that our friends gave us out by our fence. Hopefully, our entire backyard fence will be covered by them in a few years.

Just thought you might like to know that we'll soon (relatively, anyway) have our own Shnozberry patch in our backyard!

04 November 2008

Get off yer butts! It's election day!

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

Don't take for granted the freedom paid for by hundreds of thousands of soldier's lives throughout the history of our nation.