I don’t know about you, but it’s HOT in Nebraska! How hot is it?
It’s so hot, I went to the store for flour, sugar and eggs yesterday, and came home with a cake.
Bada boom, bada bing.
Seriously, it’s summer, and we have three birthdays to celebrate just this month. Our family has grown so much that it’s a rare month that doesn’t find us gathering for cake at least a couple of times. I love to get creative and serve brunch, with breakfast casseroles, etc. My daughter LeighAnn and I occasionally cook up Mexican Day or Soup Day. But of course, with such a large gathering, we often have the old standbys, grilled burgers and dogs, Tastees, chili, and on the holidays, good old ham and turkey.
I don’t know how I always get the same jobs at these events—but I’m trying to shake off the stereotype. My son-in-law Brad claims he’s going to have me buried with an ice cream scoop in my folded hands, so I’ll look normal. I bought him one for Christmas one year—a dandy specimen just like mine—a heavy-duty industrial strength flat scooper—but of course I am the one who wields it at their house. Last birthday there I tried to hide until the scooping was underway, but they found me.
My goodness, but those birthdays pile up, don’t they? When we moved last time, I organized photos into albums until my brain went numb. I finally stashed the rest back into boxes where they will await the next millennium. It was amazing how many of those photos were pictures of cakes. If you’re a young mom, take this as a gentle suggestion: Take ONE photo of the baby’s cake. One, got it?
I remember how exciting those first birthday cakes were. If you’re a mom of many or a grandma, you remember, too. You couldn’t get enough pictures of your baby with frosting up his nose. Wasn’t that darling? Then there were second, third, and fourth birthdays. And then the second third and fourth kids arrived and had birthdays, too—yes I have four children and I lived to tell. And then the grandchildren start arriving—or so they say.
Here is my pledge: I will never, as long as I draw breath, take another picture of a birthday cake. I mean how many cake pictures does a person need? Get them out of order, and you don’t even know whose cake it was or which year. And you know, one shot is never enough. Admit it, you take two pictures in case the first one blurs or something. Heaven forbid we wouldn’t be able to see Strawberry Shortcake or Spiderman clearly once he was only a sweet memory.
You know what I’m talking about. Just you try sorting 20 or 30 years of photos and try to get sentimental about a cake that was only so so in 1983.
And while I’m on the subject of parties, darned if I’m not the one who inevitably gets stuck opening all those toys that have been hermetically sealed and wired and clamped. Sometimes I need a screwdriver and a wire cutter to extricate them. I’m telling you, Santa could catapult those boxes out of his sleigh onto our concrete driveway and Barbie wouldn’t have a hair out of place. Her hair is sewn onto the cardboard, people. Sewn.
The packaging is three times the size of the toy inside. It takes half a roll of wrapping paper to go around a box, but once you get the twisties unwrapped and the taped peeled off and the plastic removed, you have a tiny little pile of Power Rangers and half a dozen bags of trash. And—
Have you ever lost a minuscule part and had to search through all those bags because you might have accidentally thrown it away? Or heaven forbid go out to the trashcan—I don’t know which is worse, searching through trash for Woody’s six-shooter in the summer or during the winter. Hint: the piece is never there. It’s always with Colonel Mustard in the sofa cushion.
How about you? Do most of your family traditions involve food?
This blog had nothing to do with reading, writing or watching westerns, but I do have a fun drawing this month to bring the focus back on everybody’s favorite subject (besides cake) and that would be cowboys.
Leave a comment today and I’ll drop your name into the fish bowl. I’m holding a drawing for this DVD set: COWBOYS OF THE SILVER SCREEN. Five full-length feature films:
Over the Hill Gang – Walter Brennan and Ricky Nelson
The Shooting – jack Nicholson, Warren Oates
Vengeance Valley – Burt Lancaster, Joanna Dru
Rage at Dawn – Forrest Tucker, Randolph Scott
One-eyed Jacks, Marlon Brando, Karl Malden
I’m adding a cowboy boot charm to the prize, too. Now, wouldn’t winning this set just take the cake?