The Lamb Cake saga continues:
By now I had taken everyone’s preferences to heart. There was an overwhelming kid preference for “no coconut”; the new improved Lamb Cake featured mini marshmallows embedded in the frosting. It did not look bad, just puffed up larger. The grandkids were now taking turns, if possible, for decorating the cake. Sometimes the cake would go to another party as their treat and I had to bake a second one to take with me elsewhere for another child to decorate at the alternate celebration. The one year I was responsible for the entire production, I had this ‘stroke of genius’ to improve the fluffiness of the lamb fur. I bought a jar of Fluff and knew this would hold the mini marshmallows in place securely. For anyone who has ever had a peanut butter and Fluff sandwich you know the sticking power of Fluff from trying to spread it as it is quickly drying on fresh bread. All was going well, it looked beautiful. I changed my clothes and picked up the Lamb cake from the refrigerator and drove a short distance on an unusually warm Easter Sunday in a car without air conditioning. As I glanced over to the plastic covered cake on the front seat, I could see trouble brewing, or rather, sliding. The once stunning Lamb Cake resembled The Picture of Dorian Grey. I hurriedly knocked on the door and rushed through the host house to the refrigerator, hoping to sidestep a nasty pile-up of ‘Fluffed’ marshmallows and two raisin eyeballs now sticking everywhere and heading south on the cake platter. There was delicious laughter that year as our lips smacked with Fluff recalling my panicked entrance.
Hard to believe there’s more isn’t it? To be continued…
the continuing saga of my lamb cakes…
Fast forward several years down the road, and now a Grandma, I decide it would be a wonderful idea to welcome my new blended family grandchildren with the lamb cake tradition. I bust out the pan, crank up the stove and am off and running. I whip this thing up in record time using a box and a half of a pound cake mix, and of course polishing off the extra batter for cupcakes as go. I’m thrilled anticipating how a gift of this symbolic cake will make their Easter perfect.
I proudly ring the bell at the other Grandma’s house and the kids come to the door, all sugared up already. After I have handed the cake in to my thankful co-Grandmother and she disappears into the house, the kids greet me with “What did you bring us Grandma”… I proudly say, “I have brought you the Lamb Cake (they were expecting candy…I was not on the same page…Lol) I, seeing their startled looks quickly added, “I am the Lamb Cake Grandma,” then proudly left.
To be continued…
It seemed simple enough, get a lamb cake pan, make a lamb cake. My thoughts drifted back to Grandma’s house for Easter dinner. Our family always arrived hours early to help with the table setting, and this year it was announced there would be lamb cake. I was so short, I can remember looking eye level with the table cloth and seeing this fluffy cake with two little beady eyes, cherry nose and, licorice whip mouth sitting amid a bed of fluffy green coconut grass. It looked real to me!
Fast forward thirty years and I’m out scouring thrift stores for the classic pan with the 3D lamb sitting up. Success propelled me onward to bake not one, but 2 lamb cakes, one would be chocolate in memory of the “lost sheep.” Who cares about the directions I thought, giddy with delight, thinking of how my children and company would ohhh and ahhh… and only reading the directions about filling the pan with my slick interpretation of the classic, substituting a regular cake mix instead of the recommended traditional pound cake recipe.
Surprise, surprise as the fragile cake nearly cracked in half. No problem I thought as I inserted a toothpick, or two or three into the neck. The cake now resembled a punk-dog collar. All was going well until almost dessert time, when the head suddenly took a dive and looked like a broken neck. I can laugh now, but it was embarrassing.
To be continued….
Sad to say, but once again, there is a shooting rampage. There will be a flurry of media attention on the grieving families, the question of gun control, along with a search to lay the blame on someone who should’ve seen this coming. It’ll be in the news for a while. This is not about taking guns away from people, or limiting their rights. No discussion of that. Forget that idea for a moment. Remember, guns need someone to pull the trigger.
This is about giving adequate care, whether it is medical treatment, prescriptions, counseling, inpatient, or outpatient, to people who are in the grip of an illness so devastating some cannot even work. Let’s help people long before they get to the point of killing themselves or someone else. Let’s help remove the stigma and talk about it. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that anyone reading this knows at least one person struggling with a mental illness.
What would happen if instead of the usual cycle mentioned above, those on social media at all hours of the day and night started to research exactly what proportion of our tax dollars at every level of government money goes to mental health services versus other categories of necessities. These figures posted in a pie chart will enable the citizens of the U.S. to visually see how this medical necessity stacks up against other spending. This is not optional spending. Mental Illness is an illness; it needs treatment.
I lay down the challenge! Do you want to report back to this website and post your chart of your area or your favorite comparison? Are you going to be the reporting hero? Compare it to what you want and be creative. The citizens are taking the discussion back on this issue. Right here, right now.
Please cite your sources and email your charts or graphs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall is upon my garden of neglect. As I gaze around and wonder where the summer went, I am truly grateful I have a drought tolerant garden, a survival of the fittest assortment placed randomly in my “try- it-three-places” method of transplanting. The greatest surprise this year: the Irish eyes, towering over me and prolifically holding their own against the cup plants. The little redbud tree, now yellow-brown, has hung in throughout another summer, shading the dog in 3 square feet amidst a scattering of withered, renegade tiger lily’s and purple phlox. For now I am happy to gaze at the branches where birds hide and hope they will return to nest someday. I wish to acknowledge all my friends and relatives who have gifted me with plants for my garden and wish them joy this fall.
The heady scent The heady scent after the rain… I stuck my head out the door to let the dog in tonight and the fabulous clean smell hit me and it felt so good.
What is it about the smell after the rain; with all the stinky, dusty moldy stuff in the air before the rain, not to mention dog and cat poop, I would think it would smell worse after being wet. If this could scent could be bottled and sold; I have never had an air freshener like this. I’m going out to breathe again while it lasts!
Someone I know went out to trim their hedges. Taking proper precautions, and doing a nice job, he/she suddenly cut the heavy duty cord with a loud “pop.” Going to replace the cord was costly, but it had to be done. Upon returning home with the 25 ft. orange cord, while striding toward the hedge, it suddenly became apparent to the worker that this cord was too short. Undaunted, he/she (I’m trying not to name names) returned to the store and bought the 50ft. version. Back home again the work continued, although careful, in a few minutes there was another “pop” as this cord became entangled in the hedge trimmer teeth and was cut too. It was a hard day. Continue reading
I saw posted on Facebook the other day, the anniversary of the Vietnam War ending. It sparked a lot of emotions, remembering all the people I knew who gave their lives for our country: Lester Kerstin, Dave Fitzgerald, Bob Curran, the special forces soldier who stayed with our family for one night as a guest of my college aged brother (whose name I cannot remember, but I can still see his smiling face, tanned skin and blond hair topped with the beret), but definitely recall being told of his ultimate sacrifice. I also remembered all the soldiers who bore the scars of the military life: the victims of Agent Orange, those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, the amputees and all the other effects of war. The emotional scars of public and private rejection by some for answering the draft or volunteering to do their duty for God and country still remain. May God forgive us as a nation for not taking better care of our veterans. There is nothing any of us can do to repair the damage but ask for forgiveness right now and stand up for greater governmental assistance to veterans of all wars and support organizations such as The Wounded Warrior Project. Continue reading
Glimpses of WWII are plentiful on YouTube. The above title gives only 25 of the heroes who saved lives. Here is the link for a quick description of acts of courage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxe9fcyoDiE
One of these heroes, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty was featured in a movie played by Gregory Peck, The Scarlet and the Black (1983); here is the link to the trailer:
This is one movie I will never forget.
Has anyone seen it? How did you like it? Are there any other sites you could suggest?