Today I had the day off. I woke up at 10 a.m. and ate a bowl of shredded wheat on the sofa in my plaid PJ pants. Like an eight year old home sick from school (fake sick, of course) I slurped up my cereal while I watched morning sitcoms with Copper the dog.

Then I thought about what I would do with this fresh, warm Monday…a Monday not spent dressed in work clothes with a 30 minute lunch break.

Deep clean the bathroom? Organize my closet? Run errands?

No.

I knew what I needed to do. So I brushed my teeth, put on a bra ….

and baked cupcakes.

It started out innocently enough.

Butter, sugar, flour….rainbow sprinkles?

Funfetti cupcakes from scratch…don’t mind if I do try.

And then Copper the dog got involved.

That’s an action shot, my friends. The Kitchen Aide was loud and Copper was curious.

If I had paid a bit more attention to the recipe and less on Copper, the pretty little cakes may have turned out tastier.

But into the oven my cupcakes went while I whispered a few prayers to Jesus. I asked Him to forgive me for eating  three spoonfuls of cake batter before noon and to forgive me if Copper had somehow ingested any himself and got sick. I also prayed they would  taste as good as they looked.

Some things in life are a gamble. You can’t be sure the 60 year old stylist at the salon will know what “side bangs” really are but you hope she will not give you bangs like DJ Tanner. You can’t be sure that your mother won’t smell alcohol on your breath on prom night when you’re 17 but you hope in your trusty stick of Mentos or that she will be asleep when you get home.

You can’t be sure about baking. And therein lies the thrill of it.

I then decided to contemplate life and frosting flavors by the pool. I also read books and stared at the tree fort in our neighbors backyard hidden by trees…

I wish our tree forts were that fancy when I was seven. Then again I do live in the suburbs of Southern California where swimming pools and tree forts are a part of the OC aesthetic of meticulously manicured lawns and landscaping.

But I also think a real tree fort shouldn’t be fancy. It’s not supposed to be, that’s the point.

Neither were my cupcakes supposed to be fancy. Funfetti cupcakes are satisfying because they’re not the cheesecake or the creme brulee of desserts. They have rainbow sprinkles and are a six year old’s birthday party staple.

25 minutes later I pulled 12 golden cupcakes out of the oven and plated them by the pool. Can you think of any cooler way to spend your day off from work other than plating cupcakes by the pool?

I didn’t think so.

I took a bite with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. And then another.

They weren’t bad but they weren’t as sweet as they should have been. I plan to take care of that after dinner when I eat one warm with a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream.

You want to know what else can be a gamble? Going for a 4 mile run with cake batter and cream cheese frosting coating the insides of your arteries.

But I did it because today was my day off and I need to be outside in the sun when I have the day off. It wasn’t a fast run but it felt good. I’m sure my arteries got a good jog out of it.

I played Paul Simon’s “Still crazy after all these years” while I ran and I was at peace. A Paul Simon and sunshine day to me, tastes as good as the world’s sweetest cupcake. (not my funfetti ones, of course).

But a day of cake batter belly aches at 10 a.m., contemplating tree forts and a day of gambles might make me crazy.

So in closing, I’ll sing along with Mr. Paul Simon in proclaiming:

“But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years”

– Paul Simon “Still crazy after all these years”

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