30 May 2008


Corwin's birthday was Tuesday. I made a cake and wrapped his gifts (just what he asked for, a twirl a tie and a few new ties). The girls lost the birthday cards we bought for him, so they each took a sheet of printer paper and colored their own cards for him.

Tiffany set up the play room table in the living room and put his gifts on it. It looked very nice. Emily then opened the gifts about three times, and spilled a glass of water on the table, completely soaking one of them.

I started making a cake. I borrowed my mom's old McCall's cookbook for a few recipes (wonderful cookbook, by the way). So, I found a white cake recipe and proceeded to start making the cake. I got the shortening out and found that it was rancid. The girls wanted to smell it, so I let them. They were sitting at the counter. I mistakenly left it on the counter in front of them. I went to get a new can out of the linen closet (yep, I keep food in the linen closet). When I returned, I saw that they each had handfuls of shortening. I told them to clean it off themselves. I even gave them some paper towels. So, I start mixing up the cake. Understand, I am not 2 feet from them. I am standing at the same counter even. Well, I glance over, and they now have shortening up to their armpits! The paper towels I gave them were unrecognizable shortening blobs. I had to actually, physically clean each child myself (not just hand them a paper towel) and take the shortening out to the outside garbage. What amazes me the most is what a one track mind I have.

To finish the cake (a layer cake with strawberry jelly between the layers), I had to make some frosting. While I think it's kind of fun to decorate cakes, I hate making frosting. So, I looked through the frosting recipes in the book, most of which were to be cooked on a double boiler. I found a wonderfully simple frosting, I just hoped it would taste ok on a cake. Actually, it is called "sour cream topping." The recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, a one tablespoon grated orange peel. I put 1 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla flavor and a drop or two of almond flavor in a bowl, and Katie mixed them (I guess I just have a hard time following a recipe). I put it on the cake, it didn't cover very well, so we mixed up another recipe of it, and it covered the cake well. The girls enjoyed licking out the containers. They thought it tasted great. And actually the frosted cake tasted great as well. It was much more refreshing than the usual gag-me shortening & powdered sugar frosting. The downside, of course, is that you can't do real decorating with it. I bet it would taste really good with strawberries.

One birthday card was found before Corwin came home, the one from the girls. The card from me wasn't found until the next day.

16 May 2008

Life and Death Ramblings

It's been a lot longer since my last post than I've wanted it to be. So much has happened and so much on my mind, but I didn't know how to put any of it down in words.

First off, there have been a couple of deaths of people I know. My sister-in-law's step-dad died a few weeks ago. I remember Vern as a kind and happy man who always had a smile for me. He accepted myself and my siblings as his own family, even when he went through rough times of his own.

Another of my sister-in-laws lost her step-dad just the following week. Her mom and step-dad were riding a motorcycle, which was struck by a car turning onto their path. Her step-dad died at the scene of the crash. Her mom has been in the hospital since, with very serious injuries. It's been a couple of days since I talked to my brother, but I believe she has finally left the ICU, but due to her injuries and operations needed to repair some of the damage, she will be in and out of the ICU a few times.

Corwin has been excited to have his motorcycle running and has been riding it to work. Some people would say that in light of my sister-in-law's family, I should forbid my husband from riding. Of course, that would be my gut reaction, but if I did so, where would it stop? He could then forbid me from riding my bicycle, or walking along a busy street, because of there is a chance an inattentive motorist hit me. The only thing I can do is remind people to watch out for each other. Motorcycles are everywhere on the road, especially during the summer, as are bicyclists, and to a lesser extent, pedestrians. Just remember to look for all those who share the road with us.

A celebration is in order for my cousin, Patti Jo. She has been fighting cancer with chemo treatments, and the last scan showed no remaining sign of the cancer! Heavenly Father has given her a great blessing and answered our many prayers in her behalf.

With all these events, and more I have been thinking about, I have been pondering life a bit more. When so many people I know have been affected because of the fragility of the human body, I can't help but think of my own existence. I've been pondering what preparations I should make if something were to happen to me tomorrow. I'm thinking more of the value of a will, living will, and the power of attorney.

On a brighter note, the girls and I visited a local greenhouse yesterday and purchased some plants for our gardens. I planted some onions in Emily's garden. Katie planted tomatoes. Tiffany planted bell peppers and onions around her rose. I put in a few petunias and other flowers on the side of the house and a sandwort in the front where I had moved the rose from earlier this year.