Missing the Cake and the Love

My grandmother made the most wonderful cake that I know I will never have again now that she has passed away.

It was hickory nut cake with boiled icing. Everything made from scratch. As my grandmother would say, a real pain to make. But the fact that she would make it for me let me know she loved me.

She’d crack the hickory nuts and pick all the meat out of them, usually the hardest part. Especially with her arthritis. The cake was delicate and moist. The frosting was light as air.

More than anything I wish I could have just one more piece. Mostly because it would mean being in my grandmother’s kitchen, sipping coffee and just being with her.


My Morning Joe Jones

I’m duckin’ right now so I don’t get hit by flying mugs thrown by coffee drinkers at small, locally owned coffee shops.

I know, I’m sorry but I am picking a chain for my brew of choice. DD’s coffee blend is perfectly mellow so it’s just my cup of…um…tea. And when I ask for coffee with cream and sugar, they get the formula right every time! Just light enough, just sweet enough.

At first I thought Dunkin’ Donuts trained their staff really, really well. And then I discovered that they have machines that dispense pre-measured shots of cream and sugar.

So maybe I just love those machines. I would buy one for home use if they sold them. I can get DD coffee at the store now so why not?

Oh, I found out about the cream/sugar machines one day when I ordered iced tea instead of coffee. The girl working the drive-thru asked me if I wanted sweetened or unsweetened tea. I asked if she could do half and half. Her reply? “We only have 2 percent, skim and whole milk.”


So I clarified that I wanted my ICED TEA to have a mixture of half sweetened, half unsweetened tea and to that she said, “Oh, okay. We do sugar shots so I’ll only put half the number of shots in.”

When I pulled up to the window, sure enough I saw her pushing buttons on a machine to put sugar in my tea.

But you know what? It was still a mighty fine glass of half-sweet tea.

Feel free to berate me now about who you think has the best coffee. Or tea. Or any other beverage you believe I need to be educated about.

My TV Land

This post is part of a Plinky.com prompt asking what TV shows you watch in syndication no matter how many times you’ve seen them. 

I would love to hear my readers’ answers to this one! Discussing TV makes me hap-hap-happy! 

The Golden Girls
Losing the actresses one by one in the last few years makes me so sad. I cannot help but laugh when I see this show, enjoy the writing and the chemistry between the cast. The fact that they made a show about a group of women in their “golden” years so fresh and fun was a miracle. And those 80’s grandma fashions! FABulous! 

Law and Order
I love the original show and SVU and even if I’ve seen an episode several times, they suck me in. Their excellent guest stars and ripped-from-the-headlines stories make these shows compulsively watchable. 

Will and Grace
The show that made it okay to be gay and be funny, in love, lonely, bitchy, smart and drunk. Or to love someone who is all those things. I cry every time I see the last episode and listen to Jack and Karen’s “Unforgettable” duet. The talent in that cast was endless. 

Not to repeat too much but again, the cast, the writing and of course the impeccable comic timing. David Hyde Pierce as Niles was absolute uptight perfection. 

If I Made the Rules Today

All pastries are calorie free.
Do I really need to explain the miracle this would be for one day?

Stupid drivers are banned from the road
Assuming I can drive that day and I’m not lumped in with all the stupids out there, what a breeze my commute would be. If not, day off at home! Winner winner chicken dinner!

Dogs are allowed everywhere
My beasts will be able to go with me wherever I want, making me happy and them overjoyed.

Kids are banned from the mall
Because I want to go shopping with no crying, screaming or teenage horseplay irritating me to the point I leave the store.

Gravity is optional
I want to fly if I can. And have body parts that have drooped move up to their original positions.

My Heart Belongs to Hello Kitty

I guess after admitting that I travel with a pocket gnome, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I adore Hello Kitty.

No, I’m not Paris Hilton, a tween or a Japanese girl.  Just a girl who discovered Hello Kitty in the 70’s and has loved her ever since.

Back when I could legitimately love HK without fear of ridicule, I discovered a display of her wares in a department store when my mom dragged me shopping.  I was probably around nine and admiring all the miniature pencils and pens was far preferable to being embarrassed as my mom harangued the sales staff for one infraction or another.

I’ve always been a sucker for things in miniature.  Doll houses especially get me with all the little furniture and fixtures.  Along came HK with teeny, tiny writing implements and coin purses, all with her cute mouth-less face peering out at me.  I was in heaven!

My favorite purchase was not actually Hello Kitty per se but a tiny stuffed lion in a little plastic capsule.  The pencils got used and lost but I had that silly little lion for many, many years.  I still mourn his loss.  I have no idea during which move he disappeared but I am heartbroken that I somehow misplaced him.

Hello Kitty is everywhere now and I’m glad because she makes me smile and if I want some whimsy in my life, I can usually find something small to tuck in my purse so as not to embarrass myself too much.  I don’t decorate with HK because frankly Dan would probably leave me if I suddenly made our bathroom a Kitty zone.

But I still remember when I felt like I was the first one to discover her and that makes her mine.


In my quest for 30 blogs in 30 days, I should probably introduce you to Ramon.

Ramon is my pocket gnome.  He was a gift from my friend, Shannon.  Ramon travels with me when I go on vacation and often appears in vacation photos.

My gnome obsession started when Shannon and I first christened one of my online dates “the gnome”.  Don’t feel sorry for him.  He stood me up…twice.  You may or may not be introduced to him in my love life saga when I reach the online love search portion.

Many gnome gifts followed.  A picture frame, magnets, a key chain and of course Ramon.  Ramon has a travelling companion named Cedric as well.  Cedric is another pocket gnome but he’s a bit more reserved.

My favorite picture of Ramon is one where he is submerged in the swimming pool at our hotel in Key West.  He was the subject of my first underwater photograph taken with Dan’s new camera.  And before you ask, yes the camera is designed for underwater use.

As soon as I can figure out how to format this picture of Ramon so that WordPress likes it, I will be adding it to my blog.

For Gnome on the Range, AKA Gnome de Plume is nothing without Ramon.

Tis the Season

A friend at work just got engaged and that makes me so happy!  It’s so much fun to watch someone else go through the joy of the newly engaged. 

I’m trying to restrain my happiness for her because I don’t want my upcoming wedding plans to come up every time I ask her about what she’s up to with hers. 

I could never be a Bridezilla, stomping through someone else’s special moments because I want the focus to stay on me.  Rawr!!

So congrats to Shane and Cynthia, may you enjoy a blessed life together.  And a Bridezilla free wedding.