Archive for February, 2020

Another Wooden Spoon passes on

Yesterday, was once again, birthday celebration day for a great grand.

Grandson, his fiancee, Karlie, two great-grands, Parker and Sarah, and Karlie’s 9 year old brother, Draven, arrived early, laden with baking supplies and entusiasm.

As the greats, went through the litany of “wash your hands and get your aprons on”, adults made sure the necessary supplies were in place.

The bowl for the big stand mixer is set on the table, box of eggs, the cooking oil, and necessary measuring cups. Then I get to sit down, with my kitchen queen crown on and obsere, with few reminders. Seven, eight and our novice nine year old, measured, premixed and prepared the first cake batter.

Karlie, put it on the mixer for the final beating. While this was happening, the youngsters prepared pans, one 9X13 and both large and mini cupcakes. Each one had a pan, Parker was happy to assist his uncle Draven in learning the proper methods.

Cup cake pans are set aside for the moment as Karlie fills the big pan. Each one chooses a food color and a few drops go on the batter, given a toothpick, each swirls thier color through the cake. “Voila,” says Sarah, “it’s ready to bake!”

One cake in the oven, it’s time to do cupcakes. We use the same method, but this time the bowl comes back to the table with measuring scoops for cupcakes and some swift math. For fairness sake, each cook fills 4 large and 8 small cupcakes. then of course, the question of who gets the beaters and who gets the bowl. (So you don’t have to wonder, Sarah chose the bowl. “Ladies first”, Draven remineded)

There’s a little batter left, it goes in a 6 inch pan. Kids are herded outside in the sunshine while cakes bake and cool

Back in the house, once agian with clean hands Frosting is divided inot bowls,, kids pick colors and work those in, soon each has 3 large and 5 small cakes to decorate, oh, yes, colored sugar and sprinkles are available. THe reason they do not get them all to ice, some people here do not like frosting and some are diabetic and do not need it.

Draven cose green, “That’s my favorite color”, and Parker said it was his too. Sarah has a dark puplish black, and Parker has red.

At this point, (Breaks my heart in a way) Draven asks ” Gramma, do you think sometime we could make a cake like this for me?” It’s not that he has not had birthday cakes, not at all! this is just different.

Cupcakes are finished and plated. Karlie and Randy allow kids to frost the big cake white, then take up the decorating details.

Before long there is a PokEBall cake on the table.

There is one little lonely cake left, there is a nine year old who really wants a ‘birthday’ cake. The last of the white icing goes on, Draven’s name in the center, some red and green dots and ribbons and an incredibly big smile!

Randy puts candles on Parker and Draven’s cakes and even one in a cupcake for Sarah, We sing, they blow out the flames.

And Karlie, who is a first rate kitchen helper, gets the highly coveted wooden spoon award.

It’s not just ‘me too’.

Yes, it happened along the way. It happens too often. Far too often!

Watching a tv show this afternoon, a young woman was accosted by her employer, She walked out of her job, and was joined by several co-workers.

The action should be applauded, but it struck me how people reacted. Some of the younger men seemed to think the boss was in the right and the girls were to be called out for their dress, actions or what ever.

Come on, it’s men who set the standard we women are expected to use in our daily lives. Yes, it’s true.

Girls stand up for yourselves, say no, and when you say NO, make sure the guy understands, even if you have to kick, bite or scream. Some guys just don’t understand words

My funny Valentine (thanks Dr. H.)

Yesterday, preparing for a visit to my rheumatologist, I realized that this doctor with her tests, treatment and personal interest had actually improved my quality of life.

Recently, I was able to take up crocheting again. Something I have enjoyed in past years and pain and deformity in my hands had made it impossible the past few years.

A weeks ago, I started block one of the Traveling Afghan project. That block finished, while waiting for the next one to be posted online, I got out some yarn from my stash and in a couple of afternoons had made two shawls.

I was so pleased with this result, that I took them along to show my doctor.

You know, few people go to the doctor and tell them that things are ‘better’? The reason I know, is because I was told this after she had seen the shawls. She said it was an amazing Valentine gift.

It made me feel good too.

Trusting the garden times

It is Valentine’s Day, and I can remember long ago, Pop going out and scratching a furrow, sometimes even through the snow cover to plant lettuce.

We don’t do that anymore, here on Sunrise Ridge. Did anyone plant lettuce today?

Then, in March on St. Patrick’s Day, Irish potatoes went into the ground.

He planted our big garden by certain dates and moon phases. Usually we had a good garden, enough to enjoy fresh, plenty to reserve and some to give away.

A neutral ‘political’ statement for 2020

I am not naming names, nor picking on any political parties.

I really believe term limits shoud be a ‘thing’. And after those 2, unless you are representing your party by running for president, you are DONE. Go home get a job, work like the rest of us

No one should be able to run for congress and stay there until they are in their 80’s or more. The Framers did not intend for public service in Congres to be a lifelong career. The original representatives were farmers and small businessmen. Their attention was actually on other things than lobbyists, PACs and pocket lining.

While we’re at it, how about working for minimum wage +$10 per hour and you only get paid if you show up and do your job? If we the people, don’t do ours, you can bet we won’t be employed very long!

And why does a campaign begin the day after the election?
How about 60 days, get your message out, we can vote and, guess what,, if you’re in office, you can WORK for us. Oh, yes, tell us what you plan to do, and how. There is no real reason to spend 4 years tearing down your opponents.

Let’s just have America for Americans and those who choose to work hard to become citizens. 

Women’s History Month

Today, I salute my long ago neighbor and beloved friend, Mary Ellen House Shipman. Hubby’s mother, a 5 foot package of stubborn, self- sufficiency and wisdom.

Today would have been her 102 birthday, and although nearly 40 years have passed since she was laid to rest, she isn’t ‘gone’ from Sunrise Ridge, nor will she be as long as a few of us remain.

She grew up in the hills of Arkasnsas, learned to hunt at an early age. It was said, and I’ve no reason to doubt, that her father would give her some ammunition, one, two, three shells and it was her job to bring in an animal for each shell. If she failed, she had best bring back unused shells or a beating was in store.

It was a hard life no doubt, scratching out a living in the Ozark hills, before the days of electricity, running water in the home and only horses or mules to get from here to there.

A story she shared with me was of a trip with her parents in a covered wagon, during which a younger sister died from ‘fever’. It was one of her earliest memories.

Mary Ellen married at age 14 to a man several years her senior, and was mother to 9 chuldren, four of whom did not live past a year. She also haised a step-son, just 8 or nine years younger than herself.

During the hard times of the depression and post depression years, the family followed the harvests and logging jobs, often living in a tent or cabin, still mostly without amenities.

She was skilled in a knowledge of herb medicines, learned somewhere in her life, and I wish I had listened and learned more from her. I’m thankful for the things that stuck.

There is so much more, and it is all rushing through my mind like a tornado this morning.

One thing leads to something else

Recently Hubby and I have started watching some of the historical series on Netflix and other streaming channels. This has led to a lot of questions.

Questions regarding the events, the characters, so what do we do? The answers or at least some of them, can be found by using Google.

So, not to give any spoilers, I am now much better informed about monarchies, European history in general, and early America.

Ask the questions, find the answers, learn new things. It’s good for you!

A moment of perfection

Cedar Grove on Upper Current River, my special ‘place’.

Sycamores stand sentinal across the river, reflected in a pool of water left from recent flooding.

A perfect spot for my reflection too.

Not far down the river, a bluff holds ancient faces watching this section of the world. A thousand thousand years have passed, gray granite, unseeing eyes.

Peace reigns on this day, no kayaks, no canoes, no campers. Trout are hungry in the water, rising to Hubby’s bait. The world it beautiful and full of wonder.

What can we celebrate?

Feb. 4 The odd holidays for this Tuesday include
Thank Your Mailman Day – every day
National Hemp day – for all the CBD and medical Marijuana folks
Create a Vacuum Day – (there may be one between my ears)
Stuffed Mushroom Day – I might try to stuff a mushroom into the soup
and last but certainly not least, National Homemade soup day! Potato soup sounds good today with rain and dropping temps

Or celebrate the fact that today, we have a present. That’s a great gift!