Someone Left the Cake Out

imageOn my first birthday I had already been walking for 3 months.  My sturdy bowed legs were something I always blamed on my mother but she said there was no stopping me.  Obviously the droopy drawers didn’t slow me down either.  Does anyone even remember pinned cloth diapers covered with plastic elasticized bloomer type pants?  No wonder kids were easier to toilet train before disposables became so dry and comfy.  There’s no motivation to get out of them like there was for this bulky chafing paraphernalia.

The old Kodak box camera had no flash, so photos were taken in bright sunlight streaming through a window, or the subject and the props were simply moved outside.  I remember this little three-legged table, one of a pair and eventually used by my grandma shoved up flat against a wall in the sunlight holding potted plants.

This is quite possibly the least attention I ever paid to a cake in my life.
That’s it.  Totally done with standing still.  My turn to play with the camera.

Thirty Three Words for Trifecta

Taking the (weekend) Trifecta Challenge for the first time – exactly 33 words of dialogue.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 “You know what?  Turning sixty-four is not so bad.”


“Yeah, when you consider today is my Aunt Edith’s hundredth birthday.”

“Wow, you have aunts who are still alive?”

“Well….just barely….”

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Pictures From Moms Kitchen (Part Four)

This was the most special of occasions, because it was the only time we ever celebrated our daughters July birthday at the farm.  Our son has his birthday in February and we were never off to Ontario at that time of year.  But you don’t have to be the guest of honor to have a good time.

I’m just here for the hat and the food.

Make a wish! Ask for one of these awesome Gretzky shirts!

Hanging out on my birthday with my baby cousin and the headless man.

Oh. My. Gawd. Getting money for your birthday is the Best. Thing. Ever.

Time marches on, the kids keep growing up, the bricks days are numbered and will be coming down.  Yes, sadly, no longer will we pose in front of the faux brick background.  The wallpaper gets replaced, along with the orange curtains and the orange back splash.  On to a lighter and brighter tomorrow.

The great meals and the card games continued, but our family showed up less and less often – that’s what happens when you live far away. The rest of the family was nice enough to send us photos.  And nice enough NOT to say look at all the fun we’re having without you.













Mom and Dad loved to play cards, and UNO was a game that even the littlest guy could play. (In that last picture, does he not look like he’s never had quite so much fun ever before in his entire life?)  When there were so many people around the table and so many skips and reverses, you could stare off into space or take a quick nap before the play ever came around to you again.   These get togethers and card games went on until finally there were those among us who grew wise enough to win against grandpa.  Well, sometimes, anyway.

There was a new house, a new location, a new kitchen, but the games went on.  There are some things you never want to outgrow.

Birthday Celebrations

My ideal birthday celebration is no celebration at all. I don’t think I need to be rewarded for staying alive. Same goes for wedding anniversaries. We just passed our 40th in November and thankfully I wasn’t at home on the actual day and very few people remembered it so we got away with pretty much ignoring it completely.

I’m not saying I don’t deserve some kind of medal for living with W for this long, but having other people make a big fuss over the fact just seems weird to me. Make up some other excuse for a party please.

After work tonight I picked up some baking supplies but couldn’t find everything I needed so I had to go to a second location to get the rest of the stuff on my list. ‘Tis the season for stores running out of things. Everybody and his dog must put miniature marshmallows in a good percentage of their Christmas concoctions. But I finally found two gigantic bags of them. To reward myself for not putting the search off until tomorrow I am now enjoying a tall glass of spiced rum and pepsi with lots of ice. Finding miniature marshmallows on the second try is certainly worth celebrating, wouldn’t you say?

I do like random celebrations for unpremeditated reasons. Sometimes whimsical and erratic is the only way to go. There’s certainly a lot less stress involved when there’s not a lot of rules to follow.

For little kids I think it’s fun to make a big fuss over birthdays. Otherwise a lot of them wouldn’t have a clue how old they are. But if you keep saying ‘you’re five! you’re five! you’re five!’ all day it eventually sinks in.

When you get to be my age a birthday is just another day, and if someone asks me how old I am and I have to go looking for a calculator to figure it out, obviously it’s become a lot less important to me than it was when I was 18 or 29 or 40. Maybe it’s something I’d like to ignore or forget and the big surprise party in that case will be just a painful reminder. I’m too old for surprises. And not a huge fan of cake.

If you’d like to give me presents though, I certainly won’t refuse them. That would be rude. I may be senile, but I’m never rude.

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Best TV Cooking Show 1960

It’s mid morning but already the sun is beating down on their heads and freckling their little noses. They are barefoot and sitting cross legged in the sandbox, intent on their latest recipe creation, trying to get it exactly right.

Lara is seven, dark haired, serious and focussed. Ainslee is five, and no less intense at the moment, although her attention will waiver shortly to the hot sand between her toes, to how her blonde curls itch and cling to the back of her prespiring neck, or the great amount of grit she’s managed to collect under her fingernails, or the fact that her clothes are sticking to her hot skin and begging to be removed. Anything really can distract her, so Lara tries to keep talking.

“Place the ingredients in your blue bowl and mix everything thoroughly. Our bowl is shaped like a sand bucket so that it holds a lot of batter. An egg beater would be good to use, but a big old wooden stick is okay too. If it gets hard to stir you can stop and rest, but it’s best to keep going or you won’t get it finished in time for supper. Now this needs something to stick it all together. Water, and a squish of cucumber juice with lots of seeds, and what do you think? One egg or two?”

“One BIG one”, Ainslee decides (because one is all they dared to snitch and thus all they have) and she cracks it open into the pail, bits of shell and all, and watches while Lara stirs it into a satisfying yellow slime. She dutifully adds chunks of green beans, tops of carrots, bits of green leafy lettuce and some colorful petals as Lara instructs her. They are on tv, and she is the helpful assistant. They are making the best cake ever.

Earlier they had furtively raided the hen house, a flower bed, and finally the garden, taking turns being on the look-out for grandma since she frowned mightily on raiding activity of any sort. They had also gathered a few raspberries for garnish, but those are long gone except for the faint red stains on Ainslee’s chin. Mom never pays much attention to what they’re doing as long as they’re not fighting and they promise to keep the sand clean. Whatever that entails they can’t imagine. They both agree that grandma should be on Dragnet. The police could probably get a lot of information out of her with her eyes in the back of her head and all.

“Anything else?” Lara asks her helpful assistant. She sincerely hopes not, because her arm is starting to ache. Her sister looks around to see what they’ve missed and sprinkles some blades of grass and a few pebbles into the mix. All the evidence of their secretive collecting appears to now be safely enveloped into the sandy mix. As they’re finally turning their lumpy composition onto the baking pan (a long flat board which must be manouvered very carefully to avoid splinters and slivers) Ainslee suddenly remembers a key ingredient.

“A pinch of garlic!” she screams. “We almost forgot!” It’s by far her favourite part of the cooking process, the last but most important component of any successful dish. Her favourite part of the cooking show. If it’s not part of the recipe she is always sorely disappointed. She pinches her finger and thumb in the dry sand and waves her hand over their divine creation and pronounces it perfect.

They admire the sodden mess for a minute, carefully tilting it away from them so that the camera can get a better shot for all the folks at home.

“Ladies and gentlemen”, Lara announces, “the Best Cake Ever!”

“Gentlemen don’t even watch this show”, Ainslee informs her as she pulls her shirt up over her head and tosses it into the grass.

“Hey! Assistants don’t take their clothes off on tv!” Lara exclaims.

“I’m not playing anymore”, Ainslee tells her. “And I’m too hot. I’m going to stick my feet in the frog pond.”

She walks away as Lara smiles and appologizes to her viewers for her assistant’s crazy behaviour.

“See you tomorrow!” she tells them gaily with a royal wave. And then she leaves the set as well, and runs off to join her sister.

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