I very much wanted to complete Sara's inspired "Do an Exercise DVD Every Diddly Darn Day of August" challenge. Really, I did. But you see, one day in August I was baking my cousin's wedding cake when something terrible happened. The second tier of this wedding cake was supposed to be strawberry flavored. "No problem," I thought. I've made this recipe dozens of times. So I whipped up the cake batter, filled the pans and popped them into my trusty, preheated oven. I set the timer, then immediately began washing the dishes. Ha! Just kidding--I left the dishes to "soak," and turned to more important tasks like Googling my name (turns out I'm a fairly famous Harlequin novelist). Twenty minutes into the baking/Googling, I smelled a smell--not the fruitily fragrant smell of baking strawberry cake, but the acrid smell of a big fat burning mistake. With a heavy heart (it eats a lot of bacon), I opened the oven door, sending smoke spewing into the kitchen by way of my face (*cough choke sputter*). I found cake batter flowing out of the pans and onto the oven floor, where it was quickly turning into little mounds of carbon cake and creating the aforementioned billowing smoke. I turned off the oven, and began scraping the mess out of the oven, hoping that I could continue to bake the batter left in the pans if I was able to get the oven to stop smoking. (I'll save you the suspense--it didn't work.) Meanwhile, the smoke detector began to beep, sending the parakeets into noisy conniptions and causing my 3-year-old to start crying at a pitch several octaves higher than the detector. (I have yet to have my life saved by a smoke detector, but they've caused me to age 5 years on more than one occasion.) My husband walked in the door at this moment and asked, "What is going on? And why haven't you opened a window?" (see illustration). I responded the way any reasonable woman would, by throwing a handful of burning cake at him. (Hey! He happens to like burnt cake.) I missed him by a mile (I'm not good at sports [even those that involve cake] on the best of days, let alone in stressful smoky situations) and the cake landed on the dog's head. He (the dog) hardly noticed, as he was busy chewing the dickins out of my DVD player. So now you know why I wasn't able to complete the exercise DVD challenge or write in this blog for months. Thanks for understanding.