Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Amazingly Things Get Easier

Throughout my year of no fear I've realized that things get easier the more I do them. Two examples for you, one, Mrs. B. hates having people over and yet at a lunch get together on Friday someone made the comment to me, "For as much as Mrs. B. hates having people over she sure does it a lot." So true! Mrs. B. has been on fire lately getting over this fear.

Example two involves me. My hubby and I don't do well apart. He hates being away from the family, brings up a lot of lonely memories for him. I hate having him away, it's hard to be a single parent but also scary at night. Due to jobs recently that have taken him out of the city for work, I've been home alone with the kids more in the last 2 months then in all our years of marriage combined. In November Hubby went to Lakeview for 5 full days. Things went well, the kids were great and we got a lot done. Hubby has now been gone three days, scheduled to return within the next hour, and it's been harder with the kids. But we survived! Something I use to dread and struggle with is now easier since I've had to do it more often. Plus the kids are figuring out that it's different around here and did the dishes today without being asked!

What have you learned is easier to do the more you do it?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Four pounds of powdered sugar later . . . .

If you haven't heard, there is a blog out there called Cake Wrecks that posts hilarious mis-creations of professional cake decorators (or wreck-erators, as they're affectionately referred to.) Totally fun to read! (She keeps it pretty clean, but the commentary, on occasion, leans a tad PG-13. Just so you know.) Sadly, our local grocery stores all decorate conservatively and with skill, and I haven't had the pleasure of submitting a wreck.

On Sundays, she posts "Sunday Sweets," which are cakes done to perfection. Like this one:

So after seeing weeks upon weeks of pretty fondant cakes, and since my good friend Ms. C was having a birthday, I was inspired to give fondant a try myself. This doesn't really qualify as a YONF, since I have a fantastic relationships with cakes. But it was something new for me, and I did serve the cake at a large social gathering in my own home, so there you go.

Attempt #1: The fact that Crisco was an ingredient should have tipped me off. Greasy, shiny, gross . . . even the kids wouldn't eat it.

Attempt #2: I called lovely Mrs. G, since she had mentioned that her 10-year-old daughter makes a good fondant. She readily shared the recipe. (Upon which MY 10yo daughter said, "Oh yeah! I've made that with Little Miss G!" You'd think she'd have stopped me at the Crisco.)

(Ok, she did stop me when I started to make white marshmallow fondant for bee wings, and pointed out to me that I could just use marshmallows. Clearly she's the brains behind the operation.)

It worked much better, but I apparently need to tweak the consistency, since my little fondant bees (the birthday girl is a beekeeper) were clinging to their hive for dear life, despite being quadruple-impaled with angel hair pasta.

Hoping to spare them, I put the cake in the refrigerator, which turned out to be a bad idea when I took it out the next day and the condensation on the cold cake made it all shiny and sticky. Lesson learned. (It did warm up and dry off eventually.)

So there it is. I'm a little proud, even though I'm certain I could have passed it off as the work of a 10-year-old (which I contemplated briefly).

Happy, Happy Birthday Ms. C!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I did it! Snakey, Snakey!

So I had this fabulous idea a few weeks ago that it was time to knock off another one of my fears. I called the best photographer (Mrs. B.) in town to document me touching a snake! I wasn't ready to actually hold the snake, mainly because I could see me getting afraid and throwing the thing. The only place I knew we could get our hands (or finger in my case) on a snake was at the local pet store. Luckily, Mrs. B.'s daughter volunteered to hold the snake for me while I touched it.

We marched a total of 5 children down the petstore and asked to hold the snake. It was called a something python! Doesn't he look scary?

Anyway, the wonderful, non-fearful daughter of Mrs. B. was given the snake and Mrs. B. took pictures of both me and her touching it.

Aren't you impressed? Next we will touch a spider, anyone want to come?
Confession Wednesday-Do you like to hold snakes? Would you have held the snake or just touched the snake?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Confession Wednesday: We need to talk.

Post-posting note: This post was directed at the abstract concept of the Year of No Fear. Not to Yonf herself, who I love dearly. That was genius on my part, giving them both the same name. For the record, Yonf The Person has never threatened my keister. However, YONF the concept? Just got me again.

Dear Year of No Fear,

You know, this has been fun. Heaven knows I've been braver, more adventurous, less reticent. But it seems like every time I start to blindly trust your wisdom, you BITE ME IN THE KEISTER.

For instance, there was the pie-eating contest. Thanks a lot.

And the DQ Sundae. Boy, wasn't that fun?

Don't forget the happy clerk. I made her day, I'M SURE.

It was your fault that I tested my Wii Fitness Age last week in the presence of several teenage boys. Guess how old the Wii thinks I am? That's right . . . SIXTY-ONE. Wasn't that fun when the boys' mother who tested after me (yes, the woman has GRANDCHILDREN) was only 45 Wii years old?

You were watching, weren't you, the other night, when I got that email from Mrs. K? The sign-the-petition-and-forward-this-to-everyone-you-know email that was sent to several recipients? The kind of email you don't mind receiving occasionally because you know the sender had good intentions? I know you were watching, because when one of those several recipients replied-to-all with a seemingly unkind rebuttal, you whispered in my ear that I should be indignant at such rudeness. Who did Mr. Reply-to-all think he was? "Tell him!" you said, "Tell him he can't treat Mrs. K that way!"

And I did. I replied to his email, and told him I thought it was unkind, and embarrassing to Mrs. K, and that she meant well. BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME TO.

Listen, Year of No Fear, you might have clued me in that I was chastising Mrs. K's VERY OWN FATHER. And I know you were giggling at me the whole time, because I think you knew that Mrs. K was going to call me the very next day and schedule a photo shoot of her family, which includes her father. You know, the one I got all high and mighty with. That I now have to meet face to face.


And my last hope, that he would somehow not connect Mrs. B the indignant emailer to Mrs. B the photographer, was dashed when he replied to my email, and post-scripted it with his anticipation of the upcoming photo shoot. Did you have anything to do with that?

You and I need to reach an understanding here. I'll keep being all fearless and venturing outside my comfort zone, if you'll stop HUMILIATING me on a regular basis. (Maybe I'll use fewer all-caps words, too.) Is that too much to ask?

One more thing: Nice try, with the attempt to get me to snow camp. I know you'd have had me on a sled, or tube, or some related instrument of death before I could have blinked. Thank goodness the scouts are camping the same weekend and somebody has to stay in the warm, dry house with the children.

I'll be wearing these:

. . . which were dropped anonymously on my doorstep a few weeks ago, after I posted about my frozen toes, with a note that said, "What is a friend for if not to warm each other's "soles." (So delightful! I love them!) Good intentions, lovely outcome. See how it works?

Mrs. B

Anybody else have a good story about kind intentions gone wrong?