Friday, April 20, 2012


So I went out looking for a pair of cute shoes to wear to my friends wedding. I am wearing a coffee colored dress, so I wanted something colorful. I am photographing the wedding so it also needed to be pretty comfortable and allow me to move about. Also, I am poor and can't abide spending tons on footwear that I will not wear very often. So cheap, colorful, comfy shoes. I went to TJ Maxx, my favorite place on earth, and hit pay dirt almost immediately. They were sooo cute and colorful and at this price, I admit it, I bought two pairs. So excited. Nothing blisses me out like coming home with awesome new shoes.

Sunflower Uh Oh

In Maine we are usually just getting rid of all that darn snow about now, but its been so nice that during our second spell of 80 degree weather I went a little crazy and planted sunflowers. Behold, two weeks later, I have foot tall sunflower babies busting out of my little seed tray.  Sigh, this seemed like a really good idea at the time!
This poor sunflower is screaming for more space!

So I spent all day yesterday repotting sunflowers.... which is when I encountered my next little flub.

What am I going to do with 20 some odd sunflower plants? I can't plant them in the ground for a few more weeks! So to more accurately inquire, what am I going to do with 20 some odd sunflower plants, IN MY HOUSE!? My cat has already snacked on the leaves of one poor baby. Presently I have them on a cart and will be putting them outside as long as its nice. I guess thats all I can do until I can put them in the ground. oi- L

Friday, April 13, 2012

Strawberry Buttercream

As I stood at my kitchen island last night, furiously whirring mixer in one hand and a cloud of powdered sugar in my face, I was transported to a moment nearly two years ago. Imagine a younger and starry eyed Laura, mere hours from her wedding, standing at a counter, hand mixer whirring in one hand, gagging on a cloud of powdered sugar. She watches as the bowl of pink goop refuses to be anything close to the wedding cupcake frosting of her dreams. With a scant two hours until her wedding rehearsal the pink begins to look redder and redder until our blushing bride throws down the mixer, picks up her car keys, drives to the store and buys 8 cans of spray frosting.

I've survived two years of wedded bliss to Mr. Onion, but I still can't make this recipe anything but horrible! The first batch I frosted looked like this:
I won't tell you what this looks like to me. 

The very sight of the strawberry liquid separated from the cream and the looked like some kind of crystalized, curdle. Not pretty, but not terrible tasting although the consistency was all wrong and the flavor was too sugary and not enough strawberryness.  In my head the perfect strawberry frosting is fresh and light and just the slightest bit sweet. 

So I tried adding more powdered sugar, thinking if nothing else it would help with some of the unfortunate texture and consistency issues. This is what I got:

Better, but not by much. This frosting was still too soft (even after a night in the fridge) and too sugary for my taste. Seriously, my tongue hurts today from all the sugar. 

So what did I do with them? Fed them to other people's children of course! You know what? The kids raved about them. They moaned, they licked the sloppy pinkness from arms and fingers, they made me promise not to change a thing (I crossed my fingers). I'm glad they enjoyed them and that they carried their sugar fueled little selves to someone else's home tonight. 

The recipe I followed is from


  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries 
  • Preparation
  • Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 20 seconds or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and chopped strawberries, beating at low speed until creamy. (Add more sugar if frosting is too thin, or add strawberries if too thick.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome to My Garden

This is my second year of gardening. Before last summer I had only green things I had ever grown were at the back of my refridgerator. Some wild piece of inspiration last spring caused me to start herbs from seed. There were some successes and some utter failures. Among the successes were the basil and mint. Among the failures; chives, camomile, and lemon balm. Then over the winter this happened to my poor lavender and rosemary plants!

Wintering them in the basement was a bad idea. 

So, I'll have to start from scratch there. Also this year I am trying a few veggies. My husband does a pretty extensive garden down at the farm so my foray is really limited to things I have a special interest in; hot peppers and tomatoes for salsa, cukes for pickles. We had such a mild winter here in Maine that I started some of my seeds a few weeks ago, and they are already for fiber pots.
I'm determined not to kill these chives!!

The faster germinating seeds I am just getting started. Things like lettuce and cucumbers I will hopefully be able to sow directly outside. My next project is going to be constructing some raised beds. Up until now I've been a strictly container gardener, but we have the space so its time to put on my big girl gloves and put some plants in the ground. I'll keep you updated on how that works out. L

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stupid Tuesday

Stupid is a term that is overused practically to the point of cliche. Its technical definition, according to, is: lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull. We use it to categorize all manner of the unpleasant and undesirable; animal, vegetable and mineral. It is a term I generally try to avoid, preferring to do as I urge my students, "find another word!" The plain truth is however that yesterday I, a woman of ordinarily above average intelligence,  was stupid. Dim. "Dull".  Allow me to illustrate.

Stupid Tuesday
Scene I Act I- classroom, teachers talk while their charges work

Melanie: My friend said not to put any birdseed out. Have you seen any bears around your house?

Laura: No. I don't think there have been any, although the kayaks have been really bad this year.

Melanie: Kayaks???

Laura: No, I don't mean Kayaks.... crap what are they called.... oh! Coyotes!
End Scene

Scene II Act I - post office
Laura goes to a post office box and produces a key. She opens the box and extracts a huge pile of mail. She sorts through it and discovers a package key. Laura is excited. She loves packages.

Laura: YAY! A package!
She goes to the package box whose number matches the key, number 66. She places the key in the slot and turns it this way and that.

Laura: Come on! You stupid thing, OPEN!!
She kicks the bank of metal lockers and goes to the service window.

Post Woman Beth: Can I help you?

Laura: Yeah, I got this package key, but I can't seem to get the box to open.

Post Woman Beth: Ok, let me try.
Post Woman Beth comes out from behind the counter, takes the key and inserts it in the lock Laura indicates. Post Woman Beth turns the key. It doesn't budge. She's a strong redhead so she turns harder. Nothing.

Post Woman Beth: Hmmm, let me get my key.
Post Woman Beth gets the master key and inserts it in the second slot above where the key to 66 hangs. She turns each key and nothing happens. She tries once, twice...

Laura: (helpfully) Maybe its broken.

Post Woman Beth: Maybe. I guess I'll have to leave a note for the Post Master. Can you come back for it tomorrow?

Laura: Yeah, sure.
End Scene- Where's the stupid you ask? Just wait.

Scene II Act II- Post Office the next day
Laura enters the Post Office, produces a key and goes to her mailbox. She pulls out a package key and a note from Post Woman Beth. The note reads:
The locksmith figured out the problem. This is the key to locker 99.
Have a nice day,
Post Woman Beth
End Play

There isn't really much more to say on the subject, except that I hope you all get a chuckle at my expense- L

Monday, April 2, 2012

Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”- Bo Bennett

I don't know who Mr. Bennett is or what he did, but I do know that wiser words never were uttered. There was a period in my life where things lost their luster. It was a dark time. Don't get me wrong. I grew a lot in those dark months; much like a winter apple tree. But, now it's spring and I am blooming with all the juice and vibrancy gurgling through my veins. These past sallow months have taught me to savor life. They have taught me to embrace myself and my creativity. Its too easy to fight oneself, to forget what it feels like to be enthusiastic about something (EVERYTHING!), and to love every minute of chaos and whimsy. I guess that's a really la la way of explaining what I'm trying to do here so for you minimalists I'll summarize below:
These are the ramblings of one enthusiastic, creative, crazy woman. The faint of spirit need not read on.