Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
if I die before I wake,
I pray for Lord my soul to take.
These days he falls into a deep sleep quickly and then has many kitty dreams.
Sometime around 1984 I asked Mary if I could look at her family albums. I remember sitting beside her in her house listening intently as she told me about the people in the photos. I didn’t take notes and I remember thinking how difficult it was for me to keep track of the people especially since I wasn’t raised knowing their names or faces. That day was my first and only time to see those pictures…until Friday.
As I examined each photo Friday night, the eyes and smiles in the images reminded me of what I see each day in the mirror.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for entrusting me to borrow and take good care of these photo albums so that I can scan them and then work toward identifying them. Mary, my biological grandmother, is gone now so we’ll have to do this without her help. We’ll do our best to identify the people and collect the stories. This time I’ll take notes. Good notes.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some scanning to do.
I stared at this phoropter for at least 30 minutes. Why? The assistant had me take my contacts out since the doctor would be right in. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be an issue but it was a long wait and I forgot my glasses. I kept thinking the doctor would be in any minute. Needless to say the equipment was my optical distraction while I waited.
While that’s not eye candy, look at the candy left at my doorstep the other day. Yum yum.
We drove the 30 miles south from our lake place to Whitesboro, Texas (population 3,783 in 2010 ) yesterday afternoon to get a bite to eat and saunter around some antique stores on their Main Street. Our first stop was Lovejoy’s on Main, which is a quaint, comfortable place to have good food and great experience.
It’s snowing today.
Friday my kids turned 22! Since both of them were busy all day, I planned on baking a cake for them within the next few days. It turned out that Travis got off work much earlier than expected. So, I made a blueberry mug cake for him and put some ice cream on top with a candle. He made a wish, blew out the candle and ate every drop of his birthday dessert.
Kelsey unhesitatingly requested a Funfetti birthday cake. Travis had no preference until I mentioned the Funfetti cake and then he said “Yes, those are awesome!” Now I realize that all those colorful sprinkles are very festive looking but I don’t care for the boxed Funfetti cakes. Since I wanted to please them and it wasn’t my birthday, I compromised by making the recipe I found for homemade Funfetti cake at Sally’s Baking Addiction. With more sprinkles on top and the squiggly candles, it really does look festive…and the cake was good.
Gathering all of our essential items to go down to our storm shelter when severe weather threatens has taken on a bit more of a priority for me since the May 20, 2013 tornado. To help us more easily keep our cat safe when moving around during times like that, I bought a pet carrier several months ago. Soon after that, on a trip to the lake, I decided that Purrkins needed to get used to the carrier so I placed him in it. I was thinking it would be a fight to get him in there but, to my surprise, he loved it! In fact, when I left it unzipped he walked right in a laid down.
Now, when we drive to the lake we get the pet carrier out and he easily gets in. We place him on the console between the driver and passenger side in the truck so he has a good view and he is very content. Historically without using the pet carrier, Purrkins would find a place to hide and stay there. Perhaps inside the carrier he feels like he’s ‘hiding’. Or, maybe he simply feels safe while his curiosity is running wild.
We drove to the lake last night with Purrkins in his pet carrier. See how content he looks. Maybe he’s humming an old song “driving around in my automobile“ and feeling comfortable with no particular place to go.
What’s your favorite cake?
When I asked my Dad that question I was amazed at how instantly and without any hesitation he exclaimed “Pineapple Upside Down Cake”! I had forgotten that was his favorite cake and haven’t baked or eaten that type of cake in probably 30 years. Since his birthday was only a few days away and I wanted to bake him a cake, I looked through my family recipes just knowing that I would have the recipe that Mom used many, many times. But I did not have it. Thankfully, Mom came to my rescue by providing me with a scanned copy of the recipe from her cookbook along with some family history about it. We all know that the messiest pages in the cookbook have the best recipes on them and this is no exception, just see for yourself from the scan.
This is another one of those recipes that conjures up sweet memories of parents and grandparents. Once I read the recipe, I had to ask Mom some specifics about the ingredients and process so she shared a few other tidbits:
I always used maraschino cherries – I have a slight recollection that mother may have once or twice used whole pecan pieces in the pineapple holes rather than the maraschino cherries. I never added whipped cream to it and can’t even imagine why anyone would. I always used the skillet to make it. It was a perfect fit for the amount of pineapples in the can – after I broke the last one or two into quarters to fit in the spaces left by pineapple circles next to one another. I can remember worrying when I first used the skillet whether the handle would survive the oven temperatures or not; fortunately, it did. I don’t recall what mother baked hers in but the picture of the cake in the recipe looks to be similar in size to the one from my skillet. I rarely had patience to wait very long to eat a dessert, so we likely always had a piece before it got fully cold but I doubt that I ever ate it hot (pineapple would likely burn the roof of your mouth).
I don’t remember, as mother indicated, that she baked it in a skillet and that got me wondering about the history of this cake. Upside down cake history goes back to when cakes were cooked in cast iron skillets. The oldest printed recipe for the pineapple upside down cake is dated from 1925 after canned pineapples became popular. (1, 2) So, I decided to make this recipe and bake the cake in an iron skillet. I’m not sure whether the cake was any more delicious because of the iron skillet but it certainly helped make the caramelized crunchy edges, which are the very best part of the cake in my opinion.
Happy birthday to my brother whose birthday was also this week.
- “The History of Pineapple Upside Down Cake.” The Kitchen Project. Stephen Block, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://kitchenproject.com/history/PineappleUpsideDownCake/index.htm>.
- “Keepsake Cakes.” The Many Sides of Upside-Down Cake. Therese, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://keepcakes.com/article2.html>.
When we moved in to our house years ago there were 4 trees in the front yard. We cut one down because it was in an awkward spot; we lost one to an ice storm; one got diseased and was dying so we cut it down; and the May 20 tornado took our last one.
Today, we had a Chinese Pistachio tree planted in our front yard! It looks like they did a nice job firmly planting it. Of course, it’s dormant now but we look forward to seeing it mature.
Note the port-a-potty in our neighbor’s front yard. These were placed throughout our neighborhood after the May 20 tornado due to workers’ needs and continues to be a need.
You can see in the background that the houses are getting repaired and rebuilt. What few trees remain in the neighborhood are very broken from the winds.
Again you can see our in the background the new construction and notice our new street light. Our street lights were just recently installed in our neighborhood. I had forgotten how bright they are at night!
I’m pretty excited about seeing the beauty this tree brings to our yard.