There is No Blast Freezer Here.

One too many episodes of Halloween Baking Championship one evening and I needed cake in my mouth ASAP!

The appearance of the cakes is where the Halloween component comes in, but the ingredients and flavors are not necessarily restricted to “fall.” Thankfully, this is not a show about pumpkin spice. The barrage of flavor combinations and layers with roasted whatevers and infused whozits covered in ganache and buttercream was just too much.

While my family does enjoy creating “shape cakes,” it’s strictly out of a box yellow or chocolate for us. However heading into a weekend visit, I demanded more!

…and then I got stuck assembling it.

It was not a stable creation. MomBert premade 5 mini yellow cakes and some buttercream icing. (Apparently icing with Crisco is a Food Network sin, but it’s pretty standard in our world.) My mission was to alternate layers with blackberry and raspberry jam as well as fresh fruit, sealing the layers with buttercream. Often the contestants run things to the blast freezer to cool them down or solidify them in time for judging. Turns out we didn’t have one of those.

We were not going to win the championship for our presentation, it looks like a blob monster, but it tasted good.

Ominous AF

Got some fortune cookies with my sushi. (Three to be precise. I also got three sets of forks and chopsticks based on the amount I ordered which was only four rolls and only one of those four was a “speciality roll.” I know this is more about self judgement, but I want to call the restaurant to tell them that the asparagus and sweet potato rolls are for my lunch! Do they not know the satisfaction of an easily and quickly packed school lunch?)

Anyway.

Got some fortune cookies with my sushi. One cookie did not have a fortune.

Ominous as fuck.

Feeling Stabby?

Tis the season…. for leaving knives in crosswalks? The extra long light gave me plenty of time for contemplation.

Practical question: Will this somehow end up in someone’s tire? (It was still there an hour later when I came back through. )

Wild speculation: The youths in my neighborhood are now carrying kitchen knives because they don’t understand switchblades.

Someone was plotting a stabbing, but reconsidered and threw the knife out the window so as not to be tempted.

Pumpkin carving contestant arrives at Finals without favorite knife. Chaos ensues.

Edward Scissorhands and/or Freddy Krueger were chewing their fingernails.

On the go whittling. Fucking hipsters.

The Perfect Butterfly Storm

Briefly I had the most glorious and perfect caterpillar to chrysalis moment. My little squishy dude who was polite enough to stay close to home went into the J position on a Sunday. I checked on it frequently.

At 7 a.m. on Monday before leaving for work, I checked again. Little dude was doing ab crunches, but had been considerate enough to wait for me to really get the party started.

I run late for many reasons, mostly cat related. Once 3 days into the official lockdown, I was so anxious and sleep deprived that I backed my car into my rising garage door just as hard as I could, effectively self-isolating. Thankfully my neighbor was able to rescue me so I could go be anxious and sleep deprived at a second location.

However I have never had the opportunity to be late because a caterpillar was going into a chrysalis and I GOT TO SEE IT LIVE!

The video is pieced together clips because I wanted to be able to text MomBert the event. It’s shaky because I was squatting in my yard at 7a.m. and that was too early for my legs to think about such things. The entire process took 6 minutes based on my photo time stamps.

When I left, the chrysalis was still wiggling about. I showed anyone who would stand still long enough my amazing experience. That afternoon, I came home to a beautiful jade green monarch chrysalis with gold accents. In 8-12 days, hopefully a butterfly would head to Mexico.

Sadly, this is where my perfect storm ended. Friday afternoon, my chrysalis was gone. Presumably it became someone’s snack pack. Only the silk pad remained.

Even as I squatted to take that photo yet another growing caterpillar was munching milkweed in my ear.

J Position!

Me outside whispering to the ONE caterpillar who has made it to the J position and stayed in a place where I can observe it:

“You can do this little, buddy.”

His/her ungrateful peers chose to flee the scene this morning for spots on the other side of the fence. If only they had met my neighbors.

The top caterpillar actually pooped on the one below.

“If anything comes along to snack on you during this vulnerable time, I will absolutely lose my shit.”

Caterpillars stay this way for almost a full day before the final shed into a chrysalis.

“It’s all riding on you. No pressure.”

The Empress

UPDATED 7/21/21: I saw a post from Katherine last night (7/20/21) as I was going to bed. After 76 days of ruling the farm and the farmer, The Empress unexpectedly passed away. We were lucky to have snuggled her on Day 11.

Only 11 days old with a name bigger than she is: The Empress Isabel Paloma Consuelo Dioge.

This was back in mid May when an Adventure Buddy who wanted to try goat yoga came along. The Empress was not yet big enough for yoga because at the time she was not even the size of a newborn goat. We got to snuggle her and hear her story after the yoga session. As Katherine Harrison the farmer and owner told it, she found the premature baby goat in the straw left for dead. Katherine also thought the baby was dead until she moved her head slightly. The Empress became a “kitchen goat” with round the clock care and bottle service as well as a Pyrenees caretaker. The Empress has continued to grow and is learning “how to goat.” The farm’s Instagram is @harrisonfarm13 ; it is worth the follow simply for goat antics.

Goat Selfie

Per usual there were plenty of regular sized baby goats and adults to assist with yoga poses. I came back from the bathroom to find a goat on my mat as a greeting. I get a pretty minimal amount of yoga done during these sessions. I try, but I’m there for the silliness, the interactions, and to hear which rooster will reliably interrupt the instructor.

This baby was yet to be named on our visit, but I believe has been dubbed Ferris Bueller.

Adventure Buddy said that she would go again so that’s a win for me.

Being an unruly baby goat is exhausting!

Hey, Bun!

I have a small bunny who reliably finds the game camera in the yard, and acts like I’ve set it up for a photoshoot.

It got really hot recently and I did not see the bun for a couple of days. Usually I would see it in the mornings and early evenings more or less deciding what to destroy in my garden (pepper plants seem to be the answer). I was concerned. There’s traffic and plenty of predators.

However I discovered that the bunny just opted for a cooler time of day.

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There’s a possum also trying to get in on the photo action. We’ll see how it goes.

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