Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Cupcake Story

I have always loved my birthday. It's my favorite day of the year. The one day I feel like everyone should be able to look at me and tell that it's MY day, MY birthday. I expect, and frankly, I demand, that a big fuss be made about it. And when it's not, there's hell to pay. And although this year, I'm not really feeling all the love I usually do around this time of year (perhaps it's because my mom isn't visiting like she has for the past 2 birthdays since I've lived in Texas, or perhaps it's because I'm getting older - ahem, 31 - and just don't care to celebrate that any longer, or perhaps it's because I have realized that it really just is another day of the week, month, year, life), it wouldn't be my birthday without the annual re-telling of

The Great Cupcake Story of 1984

TM (all rights reserved).

Before I begin the story, a few notes of housekeeping. To the J, Marcie, Charlene, my mom, and my ex (who shall remain nameless), all of whom I promised I would never tell this story again: I am sorry. Or rather, tough shit. It's my birthday, and I'll tell The Great Cupcake Story of 1984 (henceforth referred to as TGCSo'84) if I want to. To Wonder, Chicken and anyone else who knows me, and knows me well, and has known me for some time, and DOES NOT KNOW this story: I don't know if I should feel proud (that at least I didn't tell it to them over and over and over again, like I did with some people), or ashamed (that you call yourself my friend and do not know this story, this one tale that has shaped who I am as an adult). And so with no further adieu, I give you TGCSo'84.........

Our story begins, obviously, on May 27th, 1984. I am in Kindergarten. It is my 6th birthday. Of course, I am excited. It's the first birthday I will be spending at school, and since it's May, I've seen all the other kids come and go throughout the year with their cakes and parties and whatnot. Now it's my turn. My turn for all the attention. For the class to sing to me. And for the cupcakes.

Oh, the cupcakes.

Cherry Chip cupcakes, to be exact. My very favorite. If you've never had them, you are missing out. They are white cupcakes with little artificial cherry bits in them. And you frost them with cherry flavored icing. They are heaven. Assuming you like artificial cherry flavoring, of course. Which I did. So my mother had stayed up late the night before*, painstakingly making these wonderful, delicious cupcakes for my entire class.

*I have no idea if this is true. She could have made them during the day. I don't know for a fact that she stayed up all night, but it sure makes for a better story.

The morning of my birthday arrived, and I was excited. I was all dressed up in my birthday best, and my mom got me ready and on the bus. I loved riding the bus. I loved my bus driver, Mr. Larry. I would tell him it was my birthday and he would be happy for me. Maybe even let me sit up front with him.

I climbed aboard the bus, clutching my JC Penney box full of cupcakes (we were, apparently, too poor to afford proper Tupperware, so and my mom had put the treats in an old department store box), excited to be going to school. I had no idea what was in store for me, on what would be the most traumatic bus ride, on the most traumatic birthday of my life.

If only my mom had driven me to school that day.

My friend Charlene (NOT the aforementioned Charlene to whom I apologized in this blog, but after reading what you're about to read, you will understand why I had a hard time accepting her into my life) came and sat next to me. Charlene, you see, was not in my class. But she lived in my neighborhood, we had gone to nursery school together, and we sometimes played with each other. In other words, we were friends. The following is our conversation, as I have played it out in my head in the past 25 years.

Charlene: What's in the box?


(it's possible my mom let me have a cupcake for breakfast and I was already feeling the effects of the sugar)

Charlene: I like cupcakes.


Charlene: Can I see them?


Charlene: Those look good.


Charlene: Maybe I can have one of yours?

(this, my friends, is where our story takes a turn for the worse)

Me: (hesitating) No......they're only for my class.

Charlene: Please??

Me: (silence)

Charlene: Pretty Please? With sugar on top?

Well that did it. I mean, aside from the fact that she pretty pleased me, we WERE friends, and I did want to share them with her (hell, with everyone, the more people I could get on board this birthday train the better), and I wanted her to taste the wonder of the cupcake, and surely one little cupcake wasn't going to make that big a difference, I mean my mom had made plenty.

Me: Ok.

Charlene: (NOM NOM NOM)

Me: ...........

Charlene: (GULP) Wow that was really good! Thanks!

A moment passes as we continue our ride to school. And then, out of nowhere, the unthinkable happens. The one event that has changed me and my birthday celebrations for the past 25 years. The one thing that could have ruined my entire birthday.

Charlene threw up.

All over my cupcakes.

And me.

And my birthday dress.

And shoes.

Charlene: (RETCH, SPEW, COUGH, COUGH) Oh.......


I was inconsolable. Mr. Larry asked what all the fuss was about, and someone informed him that Charlene had just thrown up all over the place. Luckily, we were at school. All the kids piled off the bus, including Charlene, who miraculously felt better. But I just stayed right where I was. Covered in vomit and clutching my JC Penney box of ruined cupcakes.

I don't know how, but somehow they got me off the bus and into the Principal's office, where I continued to sob and mourn my lost birthday. I could not be calmed down. I could not be talked into going to class. Nothing could be done with me, so finally my father was called and he came and picked me up.

The cupcakes, I presume, were thrown in the trash. The class never got to sing Happy Birthday to me. I never got all the attention. And to make me feel better, my dad did the only thing he could think of.

He took me to McDonald's and let me eat it while I sat THIS CLOSE to t he TV screen and watched Sesame Street. And since I was only 6, this did work to calm me down and distract me.

But I never forgot.

I still eat Cherry Chip cupcakes on my birthday (a batch just came out of the oven, as a matter of fact). It wouldn't be my birthday without them. And it wouldn't be my birthday if I didn't tell at least one person that story. I'm glad I got to share it with you.

And now, for my birthday present, I've decided to hold another blog contest. This one will run 1 week, and all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me one of your birthday memories. It can be good, bad, sad, funny, vomit filled or vomit free. It matters not. I just want to hear about your birthdays. The winner of the contest will win an apron, made by me! I will choose the winner randomly.

Good luck! And Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cuteness!!

The Cuteness' birthday was this past week, and we celebrated yesterday. It's hard to believe it was just a year ago that this little muffin entered our lives. She's already walking and talking (babbling) and everything!

As with all first birthdays, all the adults sat around and watched as The Cuteness ate her first birthday cake (in this case, a cupcake, she's a girl after my own heart).

It's as if we, as adults, have not ever seen a child eat cake before. It's as if we don't all sit around every year and watch another child eat their first cake. Making a mess, shoving it in their mouths, getting it in their hair.

We sit around and watch and laugh and take pictures as if this is the first time we've ever seen such a sight.

I am no exception to this rule.

The Cuteness was pretty clean, actually. This was the extent of the damage.

The Cowboy had a bigger mess on his face when he was done with his cake.

Baby squatting! Opening up the present we bought her.....

I think she likes it!

Happy 1st Birthday Maddie!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yeah, I made that

I've been busy being the crafty bitch that I am. Christy and I are taking another sewing class, and we are for sure getting our money's worth this time around. The instructor is nicer, more organized and less crazy. Things I look for in a teacher. We're making pajama pants, and I don't have a picture to show you just yet, but they will be done next week and I will post one then.

In the meantime, I've really gotten a lot more comfortable with my sewing machine. I made another bag:

I finally figured out that apron pattern:

And then I really outdid myself. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this idea, and I know my sewing leaves a lot to be desired, but I made some of these fabulous burp cloths for a friend of mine who needed a baby gift:

How cute are those?? I am telling you, my arm is sore from patting myself on the back.

I've also been knitting. Not a sweater, if that's what you're thinking. I know I keep promising and saying I'm going to knit that damn sweater, and I did cast on for it, but it's quite a conundrum and I just can't motivate myself to knit it. It doesn't help that it's already hotter than balls down here in Texas and it seems wrong to knit a sweater.

So instead I've been knitting socks. Naturally. Because that makes perfect sense!

The pattern has little holes in the leg (you can see them in the picture below), and when I showed them to The Cowboy, he said "wow you sure made a lot of mistakes on those". I had to explain that sometimes holes are part of the design. It goes against his beliefs to have holes in his socks.

Anyway the holes are pretty small, and the pattern was easy to work (I bought it at Bluebonnet) and I would for sure make them again, but I'd make them longer next time.

I'll be keeping those socks, but the pair I'm currently working on are for my blog contest winner, Daisy Mum! Here's a sneak preview (and I actually have a lot more done now, but don't have a picture to show):

I am really digging the way the yarn is knitting up into cool little stripes and stuff. I'm using Knit Picks Essential Multi Sock Yarn in Meadow, and I will for sure make myself a pair with this yarn after I finish this pair. I hope Daisy Mum likes them!

Speaking of blog contests, I will be hosting another one this week for my upcoming birthday! So stay tuned for a good contest and a GREAT story. You're not gonna want to miss it!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


If you know me IRL, then you know about Nuggs. You've probably even met her.

Nuggs is the name I call my mother. Sure, I call her mom too, sometimes. But mostly Nuggs. And everyone else calls her Nuggs too. Well, maybe not her co-workers. And come to think of it, probably not her friends or family. Ok, so really just my friends call her Nuggs. But she loves it.

Here's how the name came about. When my brother and I were little, we were playing at the lake we used to go to every summer (shout out, Hillman, Michigan!), and my brother was calling her Mommy Knockers. Anyone else a Stephen King fan? Tommy Knockers? My brother just substituted Tommy for Mommy. See what he did there? Because they rhyme.

So anyway, I started calling her Mommy Knockers too. Because I did everything my brother told (forced) me to do. Including climb into a suitcase head first and allow him to throw me down a flight of stairs. But that is a story for another time.

So here we are, playing on the beach, and we're pretty young, I'm going to guess maybe 6 (me) and 9 (bro), and Nuggs is sitting there reading, or sunbathing or whatever, and we're calling out to her every other minute "Mommy Knockers! Look what we made!" or "Mommy Knockers come help!" or "Mommy Knockers! Dale hit me!" (a frequently heard refrain)

Now imagine if you will, that you are at the beach and there are some kids calling their mom Mommy Knockers. Or, imagine that your own children call YOU that. Are you imagining it? I don't have kids, see, and I still think it's funny so I can't really understand the full situation. But I guess my mom didn't really appreciate being called anything with the word "Knockers" in it. And she came over and told her we had to stop calling her that.

"Why, Mommy Knockers, why?" (and here I like to pretend that we are wee little English urchin children with cockney accents....it makes the story more fun)

"Because, children, "knockers" is another word for women's breasts. Boobies. And mommy doesn't think it's funny when you call me that."

"But we LIKE calling you that, Mommy Knockers. We like it a whole, whole lot."

"Mommy is sorry, but you cannot call me that any longer. You can call me Mom, or you can find another silly nick name for me, but no more Mommy Knockers."

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease Mommy Knockers, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease."


I could carry on this dialogue for awhile, but you get the picture. She put an end to our innocent fun. So we had to come up with a new nickname for her. Here are some of the ones we tossed around:

Mommy Funbags
Mommy Melons
Mommy Hooters
Mommy Milkjugs

But in the end, we settled on Mommy Nuggs. I don't know where it came from, but I'm sure it was from my brother, since anything I would have suggested would have been vetoed. And eventually, we dropped the Mommy part and just started calling her Nuggs.

It caught on, and has transformed over time to bigger and better nicknames such as:


And so on, and so forth.

Anyway, the point to all this rambling is to wish Nuggs (and all other mothers out there) a


Nuggs is a frequent visitor to my blog, so if you'd like to leave a comment for her and wish her a Happy Mother's Day, I know she'd enjoy reading all of them.

Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hats and Horses

Yesterday, as some of you may be aware, was the Kentucky Derby. Now, I'm not a gambling woman myself, and I've never before even watched the Derby, let alone care about it, let alone bet on it. And this year is no different. Don't care, didn't bet and only watched because I happened to be at a Kentucky Derby party, and it was on, and everyone else was watching, so I figured I may as well stand there and cheer for a bunch of horses whose names I don't know.

You know me, any excuse for a party.

It was quite fun, though. We were all supposed to wear crazy hats. Some people did, others did not. But you know me, I love to participate and I love any excuse I can get to use my hot glue gun. So I fashioned me up a hat.

Darnell, me Christy and Jessica.

The boys wore hats, too.

They didn't use a glue gun on theirs, though.

Here is Pat in full on special needs jockey wear, complete with cowboy boots.

Here's Stinky with her daddy. Where's her hat, you're wondering?

She borrowed mine.

So did the Cowboy.

It was a great day for a party.

And for my new shoes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

100th Post

Drum roll please........

Here it is!!! 100 posts.

In a year.

Now that I think about it, that's not such a great accomplishment.

Anyway, I'm here to announce the winner of my Blogiversary Contest. I used random.org, and had them choose a number between 1 and 16 and the number was 11.

Lucky number 11, which was Daisymum! Daisymum is my friend Carrie, who I met on Ravelry (the "Facebook" for knitters and crocheters, "really cool people") and have gotten to know through her blog, knit fiber. Click on the link above to visit her blog.

Congratulations Carrie! You've been one of my most loyal followers, and I'm glad you won. Comment me and let me know if you'd like a hand knit item (socks, perhaps?) or one of my bags. You can send me your address via the Rav, and I will get to work on your item right away!

If you didn't win, chill out. I'm going to have another blog contest at the end of the month for my birthday.

Thanks again to everyone for reading my nonsense over the past year.

It's been an, um, eventful year.