Dear Diary,

Normally, I’m “up and at ’em” at least five minutes before I hear the classical music from my alarm clock radio.  But for some reason, I felt lazy today and lingered until 4:05 am.  Also, I couldn’t shake the dream I’d had.  It was about fish.  Since it was pouring rain outside, I reasoned maybe I was the fish.

With fish on my mind, I decided to have grilled sardines for breakfast.  I wanted something a little more extraordinary than grilled sardines with toast; so I flipped through Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book.  I took a chance and made her recipe for “Soft Gingerbread.”  The gingerbread and sardines combination was so awesome I opted not to read my horoscope– I knew I was in for a great day!  In fact, that gingerbread was so darn good, I knew my short lived love affair with French toast was over!  C’est la vie…

As I was leaving, I saw Marie Belle.  She looked awfully fat, especially around her tummy.  Nevertheless, I went back inside to get her the leftover sardines.  Then I remembered: if you dream about fish, it means someone you know or somebody known by someone you know is pregnant.  Good Lord!  More cats!!!

“Soft Gingerbread” recipe from “The Breakfast Book” by Marion Cunningham

For information regarding the spaying and neutering of pets:


Dear Diary,

While I sat in disbelief, “Cleopatra” checked her phone for more news about the Mayor’s wife’s arrest.  Then I wondered where my boss was.  She’s rarely ever more than 5 minutes late…

“Cleopatra” showed me her phone and said, “Look… the Mayor is having a press conference!”  An aide to the Mayor spoke first, “The Mayor will make a brief statement.  Please respect the Mayor’s right to privacy at this difficult time. There will be no questions allowed.”  Then the Mayor took to the podium and said, “My wife is innocent!”  The Mayor was about to leave when a reporter jumped up and said, “I’ve heard reports that your wife has been dealing in the illegal importation of animals since before you two were married.  There are allegations that she started her business, ‘Old schooled primates’, while volunteering at a refuge for aged former zoo animals in Africa.  Any truth to that, Sir?”

The Mayor seemed annoyed.  He shook his head and said, “The citizens of this city are too smart to fall for your smear tactics.”  The reporter continued, “Last month (when your wife was in China), she visited a giant panda sanctuary and was quoted as saying, ‘When the aged zoo animal loses his physical appeal he is retired to a wildlife refuge.  Perhaps it’s time to view them differently?'”  The Mayor said, “My wife’s comments speak to the devaluation of all animals as we age.  Furthermore, my wife was in China for medical treatments.”  The reporter sat down and the Mayor left in a huff.

I started to worry about my boss…  Then the oven timer beeped.  The chocolate chocolate chip cookies were ready!

“Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe from the book, Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson

Dear Diary,

It was 2:00 pm.  And, still my day off!  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had so much free time.  Anyway, the Mayor’s wife’s sister paid me in cash; so after counting it; I put the money in my wallet.  That’s when I noticed my Fitness Fantasy gym membership card. Interestingly enough, there was a Fitness Fantasy gym on Route 50.  I thought, “I’ll go to the gym!”  Then I looked at my membership card and realized it expired 2 years ago!  I didn’t require a bigger sign from the universe; so I drove on by…

Next, I saw the Bouncing Bubbles beauty salon.  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had my hair done; so I pulled into the parking lot.  There was a sign in the window advertising a Makeover special.  I walked inside, and a receptionist greeted me.  I asked her about the special.  She paused before saying, “Can you come back tomorrow?”  I asked why.  Then she said, “Mr. D is at a hair convention…”  I told her all I wanted was a wash and blow dry.  I didn’t want a makeover.  She made a “hmmm” sound and said, “Well, Miss Tilly is here.”  Another pause.  Then she said, “It’ll be fine; I’ll tell her you don’t want the special.  You want the wash ‘n curl.”  I said, “No, I want the wash and blow dry.  I want my hair blow dried straight.”  She said, “Of course, we list it as a wash ‘n curl when you don’t get makeup.”

She escorted me to the back and handed me a smock.  Then she said, “I’ll wash your hair while Miss Tilly sets up.  Then I’ll walk you to her chair.”  To make a long story short, Miss Tilly was very  old.  I’m not an ageist.  I think  people should work forever.  Nevertheless,  I stopped the receptionist (before we reached Miss Tilly) and said, “I’ll pay for the wash and leave without the dry.”  The receptionist said, “But Miss Tilly sees you.  You’ll break her heart if you leave now.”

I gave in, and sat down.  Miss Tilly looked at me and said, “Let me give you some curls… boys like girls with curls.”  I looked at her and gave in again.  It was 6:30 pm by the time Miss Tilly was done!  She apologized for being a little slow.  Then Miss Tilly said, “You’ve been here so long; you need to eat.”  She opened a drawer; pulled out a ziplock bag, and offered me a few cookies.  She said, “I made these cookies this morning.  They’re like the Ritz-Carlton chocolate chip cookies except mine are better because I used plain m&m’s.”



Dear Diary,

I was up and ready for the day by 4:00 am.  I wanted toast for breakfast.  There were 7 slices of my “Dirty White” left; so I decided to make a savory bread pudding for dinner.  I looked in the refrigerator and saw that little bottle of Prosecco and a few eggs.  I hadn’t been shopping in a while, and wondered if any store other than 7-11 was open?  Then I remembered that Co-op place.  I had enough time to shop, and get to work by 5:15 am.  My boss comes in late on Thursdays because she lectures at the Business School downtown.

I was on the other side of my front door when I received a text from my boss.  It read: “I was in a rush this morning and forgot to feed Ancel and Axel…  Be a dear and take care of them for me.  The food is in the giant walk-in freezer, in the basement.  You should remember the security code.”  I responded that I remembered the code and I’d be there soon.

Ancel and Axel are gorillas!  Yes, my boss has pet gorillas.  I have a healthy/reasonable fear of gorillas.  Once, when I was at the zoo, a gorilla locked eyes on me and broke through its bullet proof glass enclosure.  I froze.  I had no idea what to do.  Everyone knows what to do if confronted by a bear: DO NOT RUN!  STAND YOUR GROUND OR BACK AWAY SLOWLY AND DIAGONALLY.  IF THE BEAR FOLLOWS, STOP.  Has anyone ever declared what to do if a gorilla is suddenly on the loose and “making eyes” at you?  No.  I fainted and what happened next made the evening news…  I’m fine now…  I simply prefer not to share space with gorillas!


Dear Diary,

True confession:  not everything I make at the bakery is from scratch!  Oh, all the dough is one hundred percent handmade by me.  And, because my boss loves apples; all apple pie fillings are made (by me) on the premises.  But the cherries in the cherry pies are from a jar!  Haha…  Last year, I told my sister (who lives on an avocado ranch in New Mexico) about the cherries and she said, “You’re being passive aggressive.  Why don’t you just quit?”  Then I remembered the Mayor’s wife’s box!!!

It was 7:45 pm.

I ran out to the recycling bin.  Thank goodness, the box was still there!  I looked at it and thought it looked different.  Good Lord!  The box had been opened; it was empty.

Hmmm…  As penance, I better start making my own filling for the cherry pies.  I crushed the box so it would fit into the bin.  Then I looked at the address and recognized it from a delivery (of doughnuts) I made two weeks ago.  There’s only one truly wealthy person in town, and he lives there!  I looked at my watch.  It was 8:04 pm.  Since I missed the appointed time, I went home to feed the cats.

Dear Diary,

That yowling noise/scream was from Marie Belle (she’s clearly in heat).  There’s nothing worse than seeing a cat like that.  After I successfully chased away the male cats, I called Marie Belle for her dinner.  But, she continued to writhe about on the ground, and when I tried to console her, she scratched me!  Then she refused to eat the meal I had made specifically for her…

Anyway, I wondered about the job offer from the Mayor’s wife.  Maybe she needs a private chef?  Maybe she wants cooking lessons?  Maybe she knows someone who needs those things?  Truthfully, my boss has not been the easiest person to work for!  I could definitely see myself doing something else…  But what?  I have no computer skills.  I work early hours and mostly alone.  I’m quiet and keep my thoughts/recipes to myself.  I have no criminal history…

The next morning, the Mayor’s wife came into the bakery.  I had forgotten all about her job offer because I had been cleaning  and recalibrating the oven after a baking catastrophe!  She handed me a large package and said, “Be there by 8 pm.”  She pointed to an address on the package and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone about any of this.”


Dear Diary,

I was so happy with my “Dirty White” bread that I made the ice cream sandwich for dinner (instead of waiting until breakfast).   I started thinking it would go really well with Prosecco.  I don’t drink but for some reason I instinctively knew they’d be a marriage made in heaven.  Oddly enough, I had a little bottle of Prosecco in my refrigerator.  It was from the time my boss decided to have “Speed Dating” events at the bakery.  To make a long story short, my boss asked me to be the bait (in her Speed Date advertisements) to lure men into the store.  It wasn’t prostitution!  It was more of a smoke and mirrors game.  At that time, the business wasn’t doing well, and my boss wanted to acquire new customers any way she could.  She used to say: “A savvy woman must appreciate/understand and accept upselling!”  I wasn’t insulted.  I found it quite funny because the men thought they were getting one thing but instead each one ended up purchasing boxes of short bread cookies!  As a “Thank you” my boss gave me the little bottle of Prosecco.

It was still relatively early; so I decided to bake short bread cookies.  I made the dough; put it in the refrigerator to chill and fell asleep in front of the TV.  I was ripped from sweet slumber by the yowling screams of cats fighting outside.  I didn’t want my neighbors complaining (about the noisy cats) so I went outside to feed them.

“Butter Shortbread Cookie Dough” recipe is from Ming Tsai’s book, Simply Ming.