Saturday, October 30, 2010

Soldering Attempt #1

Well, I made my first attempt at soldering a charm today. With the help of a soldering kit that Wanda bought for me, and a blog post on Clever Karen (which acted as a "pep talk"), I finally sat down to create. Here is my resulting charm:

I think I might need to use more solder, and I want to figure out how to even out the edges, but overall, I'm quite pleased.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fun With Pumpkins

Tonight, Mel, Adrienne and I carved the second pumpkin that Mel had brought in the other day. It was great. Between waiting on tables, we traced the design and cut it out. In the end, to finish the eyes, we broke out the power tools.

See what you can do when you improvise?

Fall Dessert Day

This afternoon, at Huber, we had Fall Dessert Day. People brought in a fun assortment of desserts to celebrate the season. I brought in two items - a Brownie Pumpkin Cheesecake and Soft Ginger-Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting. They both turned out really well.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Preparations

I had fun at work tonight. We helped with preparations for the Tidewater's Halloween party on Saturday. Bret, Mike and I carved a pumpkin that Mel brought in. I think it turned out really well.

Then, I made radish and olive eyeballs with Mel and Julia. They turned out well, too. Later, Mel and Julia moved on to making Jell-O shooters. It was a good time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ravens vs. Bills

Today's game was pretty exciting. The Ravens defeated the Buffalo Bills in overtime 34-37. I'm glad to see that the Bills put up a good fight, for Frank's sake. I work with Frank at the Tidewater, and he's a Bills fan. He totally expected the Bills to lose, but it was really close.
For our pregame show, we performed Thriller. What's different about this show is that we even did the dance. You can watch the pregame show at this link on Facebook. For halftime, we formed an XXXV on the field, a tribute to the Ravens' SuperBowl team (it's the 10th anniversary this year). I was in the first X.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Tag Swap

The tags for Wanda's Halloween Tag Swap arrived in the mail today. I loved my tags, even though they weren't as fancy as everyone else's.

Thanks to Wanda for hosting this fun swap!

Friday, October 22, 2010


So, for my birthday, Mom & Dad got tickets for me and Donnie to see Cirque du Soleil's Ovo.

What a night it turned out to be. It started out where I kind of panicked on the drive to Washington, D.C., because on the route I took. Traffic was heavy, and then I wasn't sure where I was going. The only other time I'd driven down there by myself, I went interstate all the way, but this time I thought I knew a better way, the way Dad takes us when we visit. Not as easy as I thought. When one road ended, I turned the wrong way onto the next road. When I got myself turned around, I was so hopelessly flustered, and I was upset because I was so late that Donnie had to cancel our dinner reservations. Then, I decided to find the interstate, but I wasn't sure which direction was the right way to go. Argh, turning 40 hasn't helped my sense of direction at all. When I finally got to Donnie's place, we walked two blocks to a local eatery and ordered take-out (I got a turkey, Havarti, and green apple sandwich on 9 grain and a side of potato salad). Then we made our way to the National Harbor for the show. It was really cool. The costumes and make-up were fabulous, I especially liked the grasshoppers. My favorite acts were the Ants and the Wall, but they were all great.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Purple Evening

Tonight's pep band gig felt too short. We performed for an hour outside of the stadium while the ladies waited in line for the gates to open. It was good to see some of them take pictures of the pep band and stand there to listen to us play, but just as we finished, Cortney, Mea and Chelsea from the Tidewater walked by and waved to me. I really wish they could have heard us play!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ravens vs. Broncos

Today was game day. The Ravens beat the Broncos, 17-31, in a game that was more sad than exciting. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Ravens won, but someone I work with at Huber was there with his father-in-law, who lives in Colorado and is a Broncos fan, and I would've really liked for the game to be closer, for his sake. For our halftime show, the band performed an AC/DC Medley and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Something else that was cool, while we were in the stands, we played "Livin' on a Prayer", and the sound tech guy thought for a minute that we had miced singers, but it was the fans in the stadium singing along. I just love it when the fans get involved, it makes me feel like the band has some purpose, other than taking up seats in the end zone.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wedding Reception

Mel and I waited on a wedding reception tonight. The couple got married at the end of the lawn here at the Tidewater, which helped with the "beach" theme they were going for. They decorated the tables with blue glass pebbles and small seashells, and Rita made this cake - the colors of the flowers matched the bride's dress.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Way Cool

We had a surprise at band practice tonight. Who should walk in and address the band, but the head coach for the Ravens, John Harbaugh!

He gave an inspiring talk, and let us know how much we're appreciated by the team, even though they don't get to hear us unless they're in our end zone.
Someone made a video on their phone, and you can see it on Facebook here.
And, on a more important note, Happy 40th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Cake and the Casino

This morning, I made a cake for Ashley. She helped me out earlier this week, and I wanted to say thank you with something other than a bottle of wine, since she's pregnant. I decided on a Turtle Fudge Cake with Caramel Drizzle. I've made it in the past, and it usually turns out well.
Turtle Fudge Cake with Caramel Drizzle

Turtle fudge cake:
One 18.25-ounce box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
One 3.9-ounce box Jell-O Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding and Pie Filling mix
½ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
25 caramels, such as Hershey's Classic Caramels

Caramel drizzle:
15 caramels, such as Hershey's Classic Caramels
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Make Cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs and sour cream in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until ingredients are just combined, about 1½ minutes, stopping mixer once to scrape beater and sides of bowl. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in pecans with rubber spatula, mixing just until nuts are thoroughly distributed. Batter will be thick.
3. Scrape batter into prepared Bundt pan, smoothing and levelling top with rubber spatula. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove cake from oven and place caramels on top of cake in ring, pressing them down gently just into top crust of cake. Do not push caramels entirely into cake. Place cake back in oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes (total of 50-55 minutes), or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
4. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake out of pan onto wire rack and let cool completely.
5. Make caramel drizzle: In small saucepan over low heat, melt caramels and heavy cream together until completely smooth. Place sheet of waxed paper under wire rack holding cake and pour caramel over top of cake, allowing it to drizzle down sides and center.
Ashley enjoyed the cake.
After work, Amie and I went to the casino. She'd asked me last night if I'd go with her, since this was the last night she'd have a chance to go - she's been having a hard time finding a babysitter for her daughter. We had a good time and I left with $32 more than I walked in with. Much better than the $16 loss on Tuesday night.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Julie's Diaper Cake

I missed Julie's surprise baby shower. Several weeks ago, it was planned on either a Friday or Saturday for the following Tuesday, and then moved to Wednesday, because Julie was signing papers for a house that Tuesday. Of course, I had band on Wednesday, so I had to miss the actual shower. Fortunately, that gave me more time to complete the diaper cake, and since her last day of work is Sunday - with a planned C-section on Tuesday morning - the clock was ticking.
I've been having a hard time getting the stuff I wanted for the cake (Wal-Mart is redecorating and reducing the size of their crafts section, so I had to go to Bel Air for the pillars and flowers). Yesterday, it rained a whole heck of a lot, and Huber was closed for the day, so I ran to Bel Air to pick up the stuff to make the cake. I assembled it today, and I think it turned out well.

I had hoped for blue flowers, since she's having a boy, but there weren't many to choose from, so I went with the fall blooms, which worked out well since she went to the University of Maryland, and her favorite football team is the Washington Redskins, both with the same colors.