Category Archives: Cake

It’s All About That Cake


The first time Dave and I went to Costco, we saw it. The holy grail of cakes. It was huge, even by Costco standards – a Devil’s Tower of dark chocolate shavings over creamy chocolate frosting, covering what we assumed and fervently hoped was rich chocolate cake layered with additional chocolate frosting. It was called the All American Chocolate Cake. And by golly, it was our patriotic duty to buy it.

Except…it was, as I referenced earlier, gigantic. We bent over it for a better look, mesmerized, our breath fogging the plastic dome. Wondering. Dreaming. Drooling. It was just so BIG. Glorious, yes, but who was going to eat all that cake?

Granted, we don’t normally ask that question in our house. We know who is going to eat all that cake. But just because a person CAN do something doesn’t mean they SHOULD do something. I would not normally apply this rule to cake, but in this case, even I had to make an exception.

After about 5 minutes, Dave lifted the cake. “Holy hell,” he muttered. He set it down and it was my turn. Holy hell is right. It felt like it weighed about 10 pounds. We needed a family event to justify that bad boy, patriotic duty or no.

Reluctantly, we walked away. We went and grabbed our 50 pack of toilet paper (because, as you know, we are full of shit), a 20 pack of paper towels, a 100 pound bag of potato chips, an electric fireplace, a sofa, a 10 pack of 5’ x 7’ rugs, a 20 gallon jug of olives, a 500 piece set of pots and pans, a couple of lawn chairs, and a kayak. Then we circled back to the cake.

“I don’t think we can do it,” said Dave.

“Really? I think we can.”

“Can’t.”

“Can.”

“Nobody in our house needs to eat this much cake.”

“FINE!”

About once a month, we return to Costco and re-evaluate the All American Chocolate Cake. We lift it, gaze at it’s chocolatey beauty, and say things like: “Maybe we should just buy it.” “No, that thing is huge. It will take us a week to eat it.” “Yeah, maybe you’re right.” “Wow, it really is heavy. Here, feel how heavy this is.” “Wow – yes it weighs a ton.” “You’re drooling.” “Oops – sorry.” “So, are we walking away?” “Yes.” “For sure?” “Yes – for sure.”

Over the next year, we waited patiently for an All American Chocolate Cake worthy family event. Not Easter. Not Memorial Weekend. Not the 4th. Not Labor Day. Not Thanksgiving. Not Christmas. Not when Cousin Eddy had the plate removed from his head. Not when the raptors had babies in Grandpa Hammond’s sock drawer. Not the Festival of Shirtless Jackman.

Enter November 13th, 2015. My long-lost sister would be home from Arizona, and this was the night we were planning our main get together before sending her off again. We would have 12 people there, and one of those people was my brother, who has the cake capacity of 2 sumo wrestlers. It was the perfect storm.

I was pretty excited walking into Costco and grabbing that 10 pounds of chocolatey heaven and setting it in my cart. I floated to the check out and gleefully rubbed my hands together before setting it on the belt. Finally, it was mine.

The checkout guy acted like he had never seen the All American Chocolate Cake before. “Wow, this is a big cake! It looks delicious! Did you ever have it before? It’s so BIG! Who is going to eat all that cake? Do you need any help? I love cake! Wow, I wish I could taste it. It looks so good! Are you sure you don’t need any help getting your things to the car?” Suddenly I wanted to stab that cotton-headed ninny-muggins in the hand with a fork and hiss at him to get away from My Precious, dammit.

By some miracle, the cake made it all the way to my house and then all the way to my mom’s the next day, without the top “accidentally” popping off and “Gee, as long as it’s open maybe I should test it to be sure it’s not poisoned” happening.

But then, at my mom’s – disaster struck. My brother-in-law Pete was not coming. My brother-in-law Greg was not coming. And my brother had to work and so he was not coming. I was short 3 brothers and 2 sumo wrestlers in the cake eating department. No problem, I told myself. We’re professionals. We can handle this cake.

Then my mom put out snacks. And dinner was really really good. And everyone was getting just a tiny bit full. Still no problem. When the going gets tough, the Conard’s eat cake.

My entire family loves cake – it’s not just me. My mom and my sister Celeste are probably the only two who really have any sort of “cake limit” and will usually only eat a skinny slice (this would be considered a “normal slice” to the majority of the human race) and the rest of us belly up to the cake bar for a big corner piece, preferably with a giant frosting flower, or if it’s a round cake – a 2” slice with an ice cream chaser.

I cut into the cake, and removed what I thought was a very generous piece, only to see the cake literally meld itself back together. Okay, it didn’t really do that, but wow – it barely made a difference. So I kept hacking away – everyone getting a slice of cake the size of Texas including my mom and sister, plus a scoop of ice cream. We still had 2/3’s of the cake left.

The cake was delicious, and we all ate to bursting. But here’s the kicker. When it came time to divvy up the leftovers, nobody wanted to take any cake home. Not even me. Every bite of that cake was going to add 10 immovable pounds to our hips and Lord only knew what it would do to our thighs. I mean, it was a Costco cake – it did everything big and our genetically thunderous thighs did not need any help in that department.

Dave and I brought it home, our poor, sad, unwanted All American Chocolate Cake. We did our best to give it an honorary burial-by-eating, but in the end, we weren’t up to the challenge. It lived the rest of it’s life on the counter, slowly drying to death until we finally buried it in the trash.

It was a good cake. A chocolatey cake. It was heavenly and delicious and I failed it. Apparently even I have a cake limit. It was a crushing blow to my cake confidence and a sad end to our All American Chocolate Cake dream. A sad end indeed.

It took me a week of grieving before I was able to step foot in Costco again. I walked thru the bakery section and couldn’t bear to see the new All American Chocolate Cakes just waiting for a family to love them. I turned away and my eyes fell upon…

A Costco Pumpkin Pie. And it was huge.

Pietistically yours,
Sue

PS – Can you name all of the movies I referenced in my post? It wasn’t intentional at first but I seem to love movie references as much as I love puns.

PPS.  The pie was just as delicious as the cake.

PPSS.  Mmmmmmmm….pie….cake…pie….cake…pie…cake….

Squirrel!


It’s been a weird week and I’m not sure what to talk about.  Actually, I was sure, and then I sat down and now I got nothin’.  Not sure if it’s writers block or exhaustion or ADD.  Not that I have ADD, although sometimes I do wonder, especially when I can’t focus or sit still long enough to string a coherent sentence.

Because I don’t know where to start, I’m just going to start with today, and work backwards.

I had the lovely job this morning of scooping the cat boxes, which led me to discover doggie tootsie rolls that Mr. Lucky thought he had cleverly hidden behind the summer stack chairs.  A smart idea for a dog seeing as it may never be summer again and who knows when next I would be digging around those chairs except for one small detail.  My dog is a terrible poop hider.  All I had to do was follow his little poop trail to the poop jackpot.  Ding ding ding!  Why is this the only lottery I am winning?

I didn't poop on the floor.  Ok, fine.  I did poop on the floor, but look how cute I am!

I didn’t poop on the floor. Ok, fine. I did poop on the floor, but look how cute I am!

Last week, I was hanging out with my friend Geri, and we were talking about the woman’s retreat we are planning for our church group.  Just a small retreat – we do it twice a year and it’s just for a day, but we do seem to pack a wallop of spiritual growth in 8 hours.

This year, our theme is “mindfulness” and learning to focus on the present and find joy and peace in the midst of troubles and chaos.  Yeah – like I’m SO GOOD at that.  “Sue, can you please tell me how you have such peace and harmony in your life?” asked No One Ever.

So naturally, I volunteered to lead the meditation section.  After leaving Geri’s, I sent a panicked text to my sister (who really is an expert at meditation) and begged mercy.  After laughing for 20 minutes (I’m laughing WITH you, Sue…), she sent me a bunch of info and I feel a little less freaked out.  But now I have to practice at home.  Yeah, this should prove interesting, seeing as the only meditative states I have are over ginormous pieces of cake with 3 inches of frosting.  And we’re all out of cake.

One other thing happened at Geri’s.  She showed me a scrapbook/family tree she is working on, and I have to say it’s pretty cool.  She even has photos of headstones and newspaper clippings – a lot of which she found on the internet.  She showed me some sites she used and we started looking for people in my family and pretty soon I’m getting all jacked up about doing my family tree.

I spent most of this past week and weekend digging around the internet, reading old census records and birth certificates.  And you know what?  I LOVED IT. Possibly even better than cake right now.  Which is good, because did I mention we are out of cake? But, I know my personality so what I’m hot after today could be on the back burner next week, so we will see how long I last.  In the meantime, I am having a blast – this is like archeology without mummy curses and sand in your underwear.

In my family tree building excitement I thought “I should scan all my parents photos and my photos so I can add some to my project and have a digital copy of the rest and then put them all in photo albums but my scanner is slow so I should buy a faster one and I need more photo albums…”

And while thinking of this, I remembered our old family movies on 8mm and some on VHS and some on old reel to reel film, so those are now sitting in the middle of my new office because of course I am going to haul them in to Camera Corner and have them put on DVD, because I can’t just have one small family tree project.  I have to have a massive DO-ALL-THE-THINGS project.

Like when I pulled every single one of my photos out of my photo albums in my “Scrapbooking and stamping” phase because I was going to scrapbook EVERY SINGLE PHOTO IN MY POSSESSION. WITH STAMPS! AND WITTY COMMENTARY! AND ADORABLE PAPER CUT OUTS! AND FANCY SCISSORS! AND IT WILL BE A TOUCHING AND BEAUTIFUL GIFT FOR MY CHILDREN WHO WILL CHERISH IT ALWAYS AND SHOW IT TO THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR GRANDCHILDREN AND IT WILL BECOME A FAMILY HEIRLOOM!

(*Hint*. I’m not done yet and unless I win the real lottery and not the poop lottery and can afford to pay someone to do it, Lindsay and Matt will remain frozen in time at age 5.)

After digging those all out, I found an old SD memory card which I think is from my old camera.  I popped it into my computer and everything froze and my mouse quit working and my photo memory stick I had in my computer fried and after a brief moment of freaking out that I busted my computer, I finally got everything to work again.  This made me realize I don’t have my photos backed up on anything reliable – they are just on my computer.  Which led to a panic attack in the shower and now I have “remote hard drive” on my “To Get” list.  Right there with the photo albums and scanner, and probably a big ass cake for energy because, as I said before, we are out of cake.

Did I mention I also have to do my taxes?

I’m going to need a bigger cake.

Until next time,

Your squirrely friend who is off to find something shiny,

Sue

 

 

Go Fly A Kite


Man, I’m beat. I’ve been a big crab ass all week and wanted to tell several people to “go fly a kite”. Well, I really wanted to tell them to do something much ruder and much, MUCH, more acrobatic.  I could really use a beach, a beer, a cigarette and a big ole piece of chocolate cake.   Seeing as I won’t be getting any of those things in the near future, I decided to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge instead.  A huge “thank you” and blog hug to Cee for sponsoring these challenges each week (you should absolutely go check out her site), and thus likely saving me from a life of lung cancer, alcoholism, and sun burn, although I’m too far gone to be saved from chocolate cake.

Interestingly enough, this weeks photo challenge theme is the song, “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” – (You see what I did there?  How I tied that all in?  BOOM!  That’s how it’s done.  Hell yeah.)

With tuppence for paper and strings, You can have your own set of wings, With your feet on the ground, You’re a bird in a flight, With your fist holding tight, To the string of your kite. Oh, oh, oh! Let’s go fly a kite, Up to the highest height! Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring, Up through the atmosphere, Up where the air is clear, Oh, let’s go fly a kite!

Here are my entries:

Adorable cow kites at Neshota Park's Flags Over Lake Michigan

Adorable cow kites at Neshota Park’s Flags Over Lake Michigan

Flags Over Lake Michigan, Neshota Park

Flags Over Lake Michigan, Neshota Park

Up through the atmosphere!

Up through the atmosphere!

Until next time-

Crabby Sue

PS:  Found some weirdos on the beach…

us

 

One Flying Out Of The Cuckoos Nest


My Christmas gift from my son.  He shares my nerd genes.  Can't wait for this movie!

My Christmas gift from my son. He shares my nerd genes. Can’t wait for this movie!

Our son is moving out.

My first reaction was “Woo Hoo!!”.  My next reaction was “Boo Hoo!”.  (Did you see what I did there?  This is why I am a WRITER, people.)

One would think I would be more happy than sad about this seeing as I have been not-so-subtly dropping hints about it for the past two years.  In fact, as I type this, he is taking a shower while subjecting us to very loud, excruciatingly bad ear pollution (formerly known as “music”) that Lord knows I won’t miss.  But I find myself a little sad too.  It’s kind of the last childhood moment here. My baby is taking flight.

On a side note, I realize I sound just like my mother, who used to tell me how awful my music was.  “THAT’S NOT MUSIC!” she would yell over the Stereophonic screams of the latest and greatest hair band. And then she would make me turn it down.  She was so mean!  It’s a wonder I’m not robbing banks.

And for the record, my music was AWESOME.

I just remembered I also owned a Kenny Rogers album and I sang “Daytime Friends and Nighttime Lovers” with the wrong lyrics because I thought the chorus of  “And shake hands in the light of day…” was actually “And she cans in the light of day…” – as in “canning food” like pickles or tomato juice, which is something my mom used to do so it actually kinda made sense to me.   Shut up.

Okay, fine…maybe not ALL of my music was awesome.  Especially if I was singing it.  But still – 70’s and 80’s compared to now?  Hands down we had better music.

 

 

MOVING ON.

With Matt’s announcement, Dave and I saw a golden opportunity and offered it with fingers crossed. Might he be willing to take the sofa with him?

No, it’s not some gross old horse hair davenport. It’s a mostly perfect 3

-year-old dark brown leather reclining sofa that’s way too nice to live in a beer-swilling, boy-farting environment except for one tragic flaw.

It’s un-nappable.

Somehow, we bought a sofa that cannot be slept on with any degree of comfort.  It’s too short, it has a hump in the middle, and the seats aren’t deep enough for a “whole lotta woman” like me.  And that’s before you add the dogs in the mix.

"You can take the couch but you can't have my blankie!"

“You can take the couch but you can’t have my blankie!”

Of course he said “yes” the Anti-Napper, even though he was one of the biggest complainers about it.  It was free, and at his age, you don’t argue with free.  Unless it’s free furniture on the curb, in which case you don’t ever pick that up unless you also want some free cockroaches.

Fortunately, I am a shopping whiz and found an excellent replacement that is large enough to fit me AND the dogs AND the cats. Aaaannd…maybe a small pony. It also passed my covert, in-store, Sprawled-Out-Butt-Wiggle Test, which I was too embarrassed to perform on the other sofa before we purchased it, and that folks, is how you end up with an Anti-Napper.  Let my experience be your horrible warning.

With this move, we will have a spare bedroom again.  Our recently-moved-home daughter wants his old room (it has a back yard view of cavorting wildlife which is appealing I am sure, although ironically she never opens her shades EVER.) so we are going to move her in there, and then we have to move all the downstairs furniture in her room because we are finishing up the family room in the walkout.

Which led to the idea of making her room my office, and putting a reading nook in the family room where my desk currently resides

My reading nook where next winter I will cuddle on my chaise lounge with fuzzy blankets and mugs of hot coffee and a bookshelf full of books and read trashy novels while watching the birds fight over sunflower seeds.

Or maybe I will just nap.

Oh, and seeing as my office is going upstairs, then I needed a keyboard for my iPad so I can work from the family room in my reading nook (you know – when I’m not napping). And the only logical solution to that was to buy a used Apple USB keyboard from a guy at work and use my wireless keyboard from my iMac on my iPad instead.

Which led to this blog post because I was playing with the two keyboards and needed something to write about.

A little boring, I know. But that’s how life is sometimes. It was better than a sharp stick in the eye, right?

Sue

PS.  Did I mention my son was moving out?  Woo hoo!

PPS.  WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Helloooooo 2015


Shamelessly stolen from my cousin off Facebook.  Thanks for the daily inspiration, Lori!

Shamelessly stolen from my cousin off Facebook. Thanks for the daily inspiration, Lori!

This completely sums up the extent of my resolutions for this new year.  I toyed with the idea of having actual resolutions, but they are just a repeat of what I hoped to accomplish the previous year and all the previous years before.

Even as I type this, I am envisioning myself pedaling 3000 miles on my bike, killing it in the gym, writing like a fiend, and turning back time and genetics until I’m 5’10”, blonde, built like a brick shit house and author of a best seller.  Damn!  I look goood!

The gal on the left is Zuzka - she has FANTASTIC workouts - seriously - check her out at zuzkalight.com

The gal on the left is Zuzka – she has FANTASTIC workouts – seriously – check her out at zuzkalight.com

A girl can only take so much reality before breaking out the chocolate cake.

Speaking of, we had some tonight for Dave’s birthday.  Homemade – my mom’s recipe she used to make for us when we were kids.  Homemade frosting too.  Yeah, I rock.

It really is as good as it looks.

It really is as good as it looks.

My point is – I tend to over blow things.  Knowing this about myself does not keep me from doing it.

So this year, my only resolution is to be grateful in all circumstances.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Even when I want to shake my fist and scream at God.  Because this is my life, and while I may not always get to choose what happens to me, I do get to choose how I will react to it.  Yeah, I know – I sound like a cliche, but I am learning that this is the only way to have peace in the midst of turmoil.  To have joy in the midst of pain.  God is good.  All the time.

So that’s really all I got today.  Plus, remembering to write “2015” really will take up most of my bandwidth for the first three months.  We’ll talk again in March.  Ha!

The cake queen,

Sue

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chaaanges


Midnight

Random picture of my cat in clothes for no other reason except it’s funny.

For a variety of reasons, I am changing the direction of my blog.  I originally started with the idea of having a fitness blog, and then it sort of became a cycling blog and then it sort of became an inspirational blog and then it sorta became a humor blog and then it sort of became a photo blog….

This is like the ADD version of a blog.  Probably an example Wordpress could use to show other bloggers what NOT to do.  The weird thing is, I hate change but I find myself doing it all the time.  Jack of all trades, master of none.  I can’t help it – I get bored, I get inspired, I try new things.  Well, except for Dave.  And my family (they are stuck with me).  And my friends (mostly because I happen to be highly entertaining to them, usually on accident.  Meaning I don’t purposely try to be an idiot – it just…happens.)

Anyway, I hope you will bear with me.  I promise not to stray too far from my humor – but I also want to experiment a little more with photography, poetry, shorter posts, different topics, fiction…maybe you will be the first to read the first chapter of my novel.  If I can focus long enough to build my characters, find my plot, write interesting dialogue, and not end up with a zombie love story on crack.  Then again, I may never get that far, and that’s okay too.

If you really like something or if you think something sucks, will you let me know?  It’s a learning process for me, so feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Later,

Sue

PS:  I like the rhyming kind of poetry.  Don’t judge.

PPS.  I changed the appearance of my blog as well.  Just in case you didn’t notice that part.

PSS.  I don’t know if I like it yet.  The appearance.  It might change again so don’t get too attached.

PPSS.  I might write a lot about cake.