Anybody Got a Match?




I looove birthday cake. Bakery birthday cake. Those I’ve known with their “homemade” cakes are most often such a disappointment that I pass on a piece all-together. To them, “homemade” means from a box. And it has definitely tasted like it. Some of that cardboard must’ve made its way into the mix somehow, because all boxed cakes seem to have that unpleasant telltale flavor.

Enter Bean. I told her I wanted to forego cake this year for a number of reasons, but she wasn’t havin’ it. Nestled amongst the gifts was this little gem of a cake made entirely from scratch. Frosting, scratch. Cake, scratch. Lemon filling, ssscratch. She was so excited to have me taste it- though without digging into her creation- that she quickly produced a fork laden with a scoop of each component housed separately in the fridge. The best cake I’ve ever eaten. Tasted just like those lovely bakery confections of times past. Only better.

Had it for breakfast the next morning as per tradition. When all cake should happen, of course. ♦

Toulouse Petit


Shane took one for the team, what with his deep affection for the French and all.

We were at Teatro ZinZanni.
Part circus, part dinner theatre.
Bean had booked us the table where all the action happens.
The show was under way and the emcee was on the prowl for a love interest from the audience.
He locked eyes with my sister.
He was rather on the short side, a dwarf who wasn’t afraid to use his stature for a laugh.
He began to woo Bean by creating a “silent film” for her before our very eyes.
He built an Empire State Building from cardboard.
He shimmy-shook down to his boxers in traditional striptease fashion.
Hold the hubba.
He then climbed the “building” and proceeded to pound his chest and roar silently as if the great King of Kong with accompanying music sounding on in the background.
Shane sat fairly comfortably taking it all in until the next segment.
Amazing acrobatic feats awaited!
A pole was produced and inserted into the center of our table that ran to the ceiling above.
A French mime scaled the pole dressed in classic stripes and ballet tights.
Mere inches above our very heads, this man flexed and strained every defined muscle to cling to that pole, twisting and turning, climbing and flipping.
We were in appreciation and admiration of the sheer strength required to stay bound in the air in such a way and for such a duration.
A Frenchman’s well clad nether regions so near his wife’s face weren’t exactly how Shane had expected the night to unfold.

Soon after, he began attending Krav Maga classes and has so ever since. Coincidence?

But that was my dad’s birthday a few years back.
So, come my most recent birthday, a French (Creole) restaurant it was!
Bean’s selection, thinking I’d enjoy it. Right-o!

Jumbo ‘Barbecued’ Shrimp New Orleans over Creamy Corn Grits- lemon, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and Dixie lager. Uh-may-zing! Heavy on the zing. These dared rival Gino’s Wicked Prawns.

The restaurant’s menu boasts some curious stats:

250: about how many votive candles we light each night
712: separate panes of glass set into our windows and doors
85,000: about how many two inch by two inch Italian mosaic tiles are in the main body of our floor
40,000: about how many glass tiles are on our booth platforms
5,000: about how many pounds of plaster were mixed and hand applied to our walls, one bucket at a time
10,000: about how many board-feet of fine hardwood lumber we used to construct Toulouse

A lot of the things didn’t work out the first time we tried them …

Looks like they eventually got it right. ♦

You Can Bet There Was a Wearin’ O’ the Green, Too.


I don’t believe in luck, but I’m certainly blessed at times.

Break out the shenanigans and hold the malarkey! Today I started a brand spankin’ new job as a designer for a toy company! ME + TOYS = sittin’ in a tree. Hopefully it’s a great vehicle to getting me onward and upward in the next steps for my own art and design.

Ready to fuel up on this fantastic bit of holiday fare, Beef and Irish Stout Casserole with Herby Dumplings. The above photo is what I’m aimin’ for at least. Mine’s still simmering to a finish atop the stove. ♦

Knock, Knock




I’m here.

Well, I’ve emerged from the harried schedule of catalog season with my time more so my own, at last. It’s been a gorgeous morning and I’m set for all sorts of projects and to-doings today! Climbing out from the pile of accumulation and on into the new (finds wood and knocks, given the last few years’ sense of humor). ♦