Monday, May 26, 2008

Wolf in the Hen House?

Today I had one of those moments that probably a lot of people across middle-class America have had at point or another, or will have at some point in the future. The realization that "That can't happen here" most certainly can. It seems as though we're about to get a new addition to our neighborhood, and it seems as though he's not going to get the warm welcome most new residents to our quiet, tree lined street typically get. You see, our prospective neighbor happens to be a registered sex offender, and it's quite disconcerting. I don't know the details, and I suspect there won't be much of an opportunity to learn the details, I'm not sure it matters a great deal one way or the other. Fact of the matter is that he was convicted, he served time (in Florida) and that he's recently registered with the Pennsylvania State Police, which is how we found out about him, via the Meagan's Law website that the state operates.
I don't know a great deal about the people he is to live with, other than that I now take their morals & values into question, as well as their use of common sense. Folks, this neighborhood is teeming with children. What kind of person of good conscience and mind would permit a relation or a friend who has a record and history of sex offense(s) against minors to reside with them?
I suppose that all I can do is be hyper-vigilant, keep an eagle eye out on my kids and every other child in this neighborhood and to teach my two children about strangers, hopefully not scaring them in the process, and hope that it's enough. Tomorrow, my sister is canvassing the neighborhood with this guy's stats and a pic, which will likely not be a popular move, but it's vital that everybody here be aware of what is about to happen.
Our neighborhood here is a little slice of heaven. Brick houses, some lovely old walnut trees here and there, the type of street where everybody knows everybody. Kids and grandkids playing in yards, backyard pool parties in the summer, a neighbor with a snow plow and another with a snowblower clearing the street and sidewalks in the winter after a snowstorm blows through. Block parties, trick or treating, laundry drying in the breeze. You can still borrow an egg or a cup of sugar from your next door neighbor here. It's not some throbbing metropolis. Many people leave their doors unlocked and their car keys in the ignition, or, if they're concerned about car theft, they'll throw their keys under the seat, or tuck them under the visor. So you hear sex offender and immediately, all those worry-free liberties you once cherised and felt okay with doing don't feel so safe any more.
Yeah, there have always been perverts, and there always will be perverts. And I should be thankful that this particular one decided to follow conditions of his parole and actually registered. Thankful, but wary. I'll update when I know more info.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Now I feel like a total shit heel for complaining about my hair. @@

:::::::::::::lifted from Regi's blog, Regi's Roost:::::::::::::::::::::

China's heartache and hope

Jiang Xiaojuan,a policewoman in China nursing a baby orphaned by the earthquake. She left her own six month old with her parents to nurse eight infants. Three whose mothers couldn't feed them due to trauma from the earthquakes, and five left orphaned. The orphanages didn't have powdered milk to feed the babies.

Bad Hair Day

Ever have one of those days when you just hate your hair? I'm having one of those days today, mostly because I'm in that sucky layer-growing out phase. See, about a year ago (technically, the end of June), I did a good deed and had 14" of hair cut off to donate to Locks of Love, which is a great organization that makes wigs for children and young people who have lost their hair due to medical conditions and treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. I'm proud to say that I had enough hair to donate that the good people at Locks of Love were likely able to make two wigs, so that feels good. Here's what is not a good feeling. I allowed myself to be talked into a layered cut. And now those layers are growing out, and the shortest layers freaking stick out and drive me crazy. Contributing to this annoyance is that I need to get everything thinned out, I think. I'm hoping that a talented hairdresser and a straight razor are the solutions to this problem. Going forward from this point, I'm resolving to NEVER allow layers again. I'm also resolving to pay attention to my hair and get it cut more than once a year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

Ha ha!
I was hired by a friend of my sister to make a cake for a bridal shower that she (the friend) was throwing this weekend. They wanted a beach-themed cake, and after googling for ideas, this is what I came up with.

The cake is lemon-buttermilk with fillings of lemon curd & raspberry jam. I iced the two tiers in vanilla buttercream and then covered that with the blue fondant. I made the seashells out of chocolate (dark, milk & white) and there are some pearls on there, also made out of fondant and then dusted with pearlized powder-glittery stuff.

The flowers on the top of the cake are coxcomb, which aren't really in season, but I wanted something that looked like coral. I was kind of afraid that they'd be ugly, but I think that the color of them lends a lot of naturalness to the cake.


Natalie's tooth was finally ripe for picking last night and it was plucked right out! She was so excited to be able to put it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy to take, but mostly because she knew she'd get money for it. So we did that under the pillow thing and then later she comes to me (she hadn't yet fallen asleep) to tell me that she can't find the tooth! She was terribly concerned that the TF wouldn't be leaving her money if her tooth wasn't there, so we wrote a note to her, explaining what had happened and asked her if she wouldn't mind coming back to pick up the tooth. I have to find that tooth though! It holds only sentimental value, and I guess it's kind of weird to save teeth, but my mom saved our baby teeth, and I kind of wanted to carry on the tradition. Here's a pic, I'm going to try to get some more pictures later today to send out to the grandparents and great-grandparents. Natalie has got such a teensy-tiny mouth that when she opens it up, her bottom lip covers the empty space where her tooth came out. I'm sure we'll get better pictures once the top teeth come out.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I've been challenged by loopie Juli to post my guilty pleasures, so here they are, in no particular order.
I check this every morning while drinking coffee. I have no idea why, I just do.

Star Magazine, People and In Style Magazines. The first two for gossip, and the third to laugh aloud at the ridiculously expensive items that the people at In Style feel like everybody should own. Um yeah, a dress that equals the monthly rent on our last apartment. Look fabulous or be homeless? At least you'd be a nicely dressed homeless person if you went with In Style's suggestions on a routine basis.

Really good crusty French bread and really good French cheese, or really good French butter or really good olive oil. I know I don't need to elaborate more.

Half & Half in my coffee. My day is RUINED if I can't have that.


Manicures & Pedicures, which I don't get nearly enough anymore. They're a guilty pleasure because when I do, I think "Gosh, I shouldn't have just spent $50 on myself." But everything feels so right in the world when I DO get them.

A big strong mixed drink. There is this bar in NYC called "No Idea" and they only serve their mixed drinks in pint glasses (WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO), and usually they have a calender in the front window with random first names on it, if your name is on the calender, you drink for free during happy hour on that particular day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Best Pastry Chefs

almost always come to work in their pajamas! Yup, they're dipping strawberries in chocolate there, this morning. And having a blast!

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Craftiness, But Not Pie Related

There are some Strawberry Festivals coming up around here soon, I'll be out and about with my camera and notebook, for there will definitely be pie at them. Oh, and next week I've been hired to make a bridal shower cake, I'll post pics of that once it's done. I have done a cake like this in a long time, so wish me luck!
On another note, a few weeks ago my mom came home with one of the most awesome sewing machines known to man, when I saw it in the back of her car, I did a little dance in the street. Yesterday, we unpacked it and I got to use it on it's maiden voyage since she was having a hot flash and just couldn't deal. Sorry mom. lol I present, the twirl skirt:

She loves it, and it was so flippin easy to make!