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Drop Cake Murphy

A little bit ago, I was about to set out for home from a lovely post-birthday dinner. And cake.

Cupcakes and an extra large round-pan cupcake to be exact – gluten-free confetti cake with gluten-free icing.

Plus, neon green icing and bright pink chocolate dot flowers. So made with love. So me.

Absolutely awesome tasting. Might as well have been the real thing. (Betty Crocker, btw.)

There was an amusing packing perfection discussion, debating whether or not the use of a candle was needed to tent the plastic wrapped cake, on a plate, inside a sturdy ziplock.

Packed with ultra-care. Because I am not so occasionally clumsy. More like usually. Even if I try not to be.

The cake travelled carefully, set on the front seat floor boards under the a/c, to ensure: 1. it wouldn’t slide off a seat, and 2. the icing wouldn’t melt.

Carried from the garage, quite carefully leveled in a grocery sack, successfully set on the counter. No minor or major mishaps.

Eased out of the bag, into the fridge, safely on a shelf.

Such a cutie mini-cake, that hadn’t properly been photographically memoried, yet.

So, I swung out of the fridge, because ‘now’ was as good a time as any.

Two hands on the plate, fully wrapped. It’s only a half-step and a turn to the counter.

It’s not like I ninja rotated, but there it went.

Frisbee’d. Past the sink. Toward the stove….

Newton’s Law is real, y’all. .

That’s the one where no matter how you drop your toast, it ends up butter down. Or jelly jammed against the floor, or avocado smashed, or whatever delicious weight you’d decided on decorating it with.

But, the real kicker is Murphy’s. That’s the one I’ve learned to live by; plan by.

‘Cause you know, if it can go wrong, I’ll likely help it along.

You ever just stand there wondering how you managed to mangle a manageable situation?

Yeah, I was kinda there, until Blu streaked over. I snatched it just in time.

That cat loves cake. Learned that by mistake.

Sliding it out of the bag revealed the expected. That’s why the call it cling-wrap, right?

I probably shouldn’t brag how I’m smarter than most because I knew just what to do to save the sweetness.

Silli-ly, I’ve lived through a few similar scenarios.

The freezer fixes this sort of thing. You see, the icing hardens up and then the plastic peels away.

Which it did. Except for one small strip. The flowers were a little flow-ier than they should be, but I figured a picture was still in order.

I guess the moral of the story is, there are times when you try your hardest to protect people and they still manage to make a mess. Much less of a mess than they would have made without your thoughtfulness, though.

I appreciate the baked in love and careful packing. If there’d been a candle in it, I’d have killed that, too. Or poked an eye out. Or poked a cat’s eye out. Or just had to eat around bits of broken wax. All dire circumstances, for sure.

Here’s what I’m hoping you glean from all of this honesty.

Because it’s super important – knowing how to self-save the day.

You see, it’s 100% true. You can drop your cake and eat it, too.

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so, there ya go. plastic-smashed, frozen, peeled away from icing. not pretty, but proof.

Free-Unscaped, Yet

Password? I need a password?

Do I have a password? If I was me, what would my password be?

Dagnabit. One try and I bailed on my brain. Just went straight to re-set.

It’s now a minute or so after midnight, and I’m refreshing every 2 seconds waiting for email prompt.

New password secured. Log back in? For the Love of Pete, just let me into the club!

In. Finally. Fully expecting to be ‘sorry’d’ as in, “You’re too late. Supply is gone.”

Data-entry detailed entered. To my surprise, I when I hit the sign-me-up, it actually went through.

My reservation was confirmed at 12:06 AM. Seemed like a long six minutes, to me.

Here are your reservation details: MYSTERY GARDEN PIÑATA KIT, filled with mystery seed bombs and growfetti.
Date: April 15, 2021, Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm with curbside pickup.

What kinds of gardenly delights did I get? I have no idea, yet.

Here’s why.

Super cute flower box to be smashed. Neighbors. And super iffy Michigan weather.

Mystery had me stymied as to where I should, when I should. My first thought was to whack at it in the empty bed that gets late afternoon/early evening sun at the height of summer. I wondered what kind of disorderly garden would result from a random seed drop. I envisioned the beating, and realized, I couldn’t.

Too many complications. Could I hold the piñata in one hand and whack with the other? That’d required some extra coordination on my part. How much strength is needed to break it? Suppose I missed and thumped the arm holding it? Supposed they’d get a laugh down at urgent-care about that considering my first two closely occurring visits likely put me on the Jeff-kinda-accidents you’re-never-gonna-believe-this list of odd injuries.

Could I put it on the ground and pummel it there? Standing and leaning down or kneeling next to it? Also, not optimal. Dirty knees or butt in the air? And that’s when it occurred to me. “Oh! Neighbors!” Yeah, they’d get an interesting show for sure. So, nixed.

You know, if you inspect packages, you can find directions and suggestions and stuff. The tag touted a web address that would tell you what you were getting. Ok, then, here we go.

Except, nope. Nowhere could I find a description of what would be random-planted when breakage was achieved.

There were very helpful, detailed instructions. But, wouldn’t have been if you just went along with the vague suggestion of destruction. Never would I have conjured any of them on my own. Maybe, it’s the not-a-gardener thing. Maybe, it’s intuitive to folks who don’t need to intuition because they already know what they’re doing.

Anyway, to summarize:

1. Plant outside in early spring. Or start the seeds inside and transplant later. (head tilt)

2. Soak the seed balls and seed paper in water. Overnight. (head tilt the other way)

3. Place the wet seed paper in a planter. (not the ground? what about the seed balls? shoulder hunch)

4. Water well, especially during the first 4 – 6 weeks. (oh, dear. inside, with two cats… head drop)

All right, time to switch gears.

I supposed I could successfully start ’em in the waterless aquarium where I currently grow cat grass. The set-up keeps it safely out of greenery over-eating, paw-sweeping, this would look better on the floor, kitty fur ball reach.

Curiosity was still with me. As I recalled, piñatas have to be filled, right? So, somewhere on the exactly-as-advertised lovely looking novelty, by reason, there’s gotta be a secret latch or patch or something.

Turns out, it was two pieces, easy to press apart. As promised, there were colorful seed balls and fun growfetti. The 4 round orbs were good-sized, and the pile of fluttery stuff was shredded well.

I haven’t soaked or planted, yet. It was 70 degrees on Saturday, and it snowing on Tuesday. Michigan’s sneaky like that. They call it, ‘false spring’ or ‘second winter.’ I don’t fall for that, anymore.

May Day is coming up. I’ll celebrate appropriately.

I’ll let you know what comes up in 6 weeks, if I can figure that out.

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ps. Thank you, Lowe’s!

Annual Despise

I didn’t get the windows done.

Instead, I conquered the annual “That Which I Despise.”

In record time due to:

  1. It actually being a bi-annual event.
  2. A lovely friend willing to haul me out some mulch.

I skipped 2020 with absolutely zero guilt. COVID, and none of the box stores who were just beginning delivery were willing to ship soil or mulch. I’m generally not a fan of gardening, unless it bears salsa.

Last fall, I determinedly dug up the interlocking brick border and moved each about 2 inches further in, toward the building, so there’s be future less to tend.  I also took a good number of bulbs from my oft-trampled only true floral bed. The damage really irked me at first. But, what else is a child supposed to do without siblings or much outdoor supervision? Permitting use of the imagination is a much more important investment, anyway. It’s also a convenient  reason not to attempt to weed amongst wreckage.

The other south-side bed has been mulch, weeds and two obnoxious prickerly bushes.  I’ve tried to kill them three times. Seriously. Chopping as mercilessly as the greenery would gladly prick me, I poured multiple helpings of all-natural, safe for pets, liquid weed killer down the stumpy gullets.

The stubborn regrowth hadn’t gotten very far, when the mulch angel stopped by. A little side comment about how much I really dislike those maroon-ish meanies, prompted an immediate, “I’ll take them.”

To which I promptly replied, “Let me go grab you a shovel.”

I also pulled up two white grocery sacks, a pruner, hand rake and gloves. Happy-to see-holes devoid of dangerous thorns inspired a fiendish grin. Then, What I thought were wild-spreading, brightly beautiful purple-flowered weeds were actually flowering bulbs of some sort. A hefty number of those departed, too.

After that, the only thing left to do, was to thickly cover the rest of the space with dark brown clumps of moist wood chips. My precise method?  Dump a bag, smooth it out. Move on.

I did. I dumped a bag and a half into the two split beds leading up to my real front porch. I did take care to kind of paw some away from plants that I know are plants. Yellow daffodils, orange lilies. I also invested a few moments trimming that something-piney half-bare tree-like thing that lives to the right of a living room window. Probably not the right season to prune it, but every time the wind blows, it stretches an awkward, arm-like branch into my couch-view. It’s especially alarming at night.

From there, I rounded the corner to my new-two-years-ago railroad tie garden space that has yet to become one. I did mostly succeed in deceasing an odd, low-low-to-the-ground viny, yellow and green thing. My friend asked what the lone clump of greenery was. I don’t know, but it sort of resembles daffodil sprouts. Only thinner. I mercifully gave them breathing room, and dumped the rest of half bag I was holding.

Hostas are hardy enough that even I can’t accidentally kill them. Even when, say I didn’t forget to clip the tendrils and cut them back before the first Michigan frost. In my defense, the frost came early and I hadn’t been engaged in caring.

“Do you think I need to clear out all the dead stuff?” It was a hopefully inquiry. The hope was that the answer would be, “No.” Unfortunately, I was, as expected, informed that it would be a good idea.  

That was a quick go, too. A couple of handfuls of dry, brittle, bud branches and leftover fall foliage was all it took. Again, I considerately brushed away bits from just sprouting buried shoots. I’m particularly fond of hardly-ever-need-water and ever-expanding Hostas.

So, maybe I do have a little landscaping desire buried deep within. Maybe, I’ll indoor-pot some poblanos next to the already potted cat grass.

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