my birthday, mostly involving cake…

by grace on June 30, 2020

kevin has been making homemade cards for me for many years. this one is awesome, cleverly made from a file folder…

…plus all this stuff pasted to the inside!

so, my first social-distancing birthday. my friend julie called to tell me she’d left something in my mailbox. a dozen huge “small cakes,” and two are still left in my freezer. each giant “small” cupcake weighs about a pound and are so delicious…

and then, my friend randy called to say he was leaving something on my porch…and entire double chocolate cake! the entire thing is still in my freezer, because…

amy made me two dozen car bomb cupcakes! of course they have benn renamed to something like “irish whiskey, baileys and guinness cupcakes, because car bomb is not a friendly word. but the cupcakes…so delicious, with buttercream frosting made with baileys and the moist cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache.

i have a few of them left in the freezer but DON’T TELL MOM because she’ll be wanting to eat them and i’m saving them.

the funny thing is that amy called me on my birthday to ask where my frosting tips were. i thought this an odd request and figured she must be doing something crazy with cake decorations, which she’s never done before. she told me that she’d asked kevin to find my frosting tips, but he couldn’t.

later kevin told me that he’d looked everywhere, but of course, how could he know that i have a box full of cake-decorating supplies sitting on the floor of my pantry? he’s not good with things way down low, but now he knows where the supplies are if it ever happens again.

amy told me later that she was sure that i’d guess what she was making, but i assured her that they were a complete and completely delicious surprise.

an especially big surprise because she’d also spent days making me a mouthwatering indian feast. saage paneer plus other delicious things, and she’d gone to the indian grocery store where they had really great naan and some appetizers i’d never had.

although i missed having friends over for the celebration, it was a lovely time.

my other big surprise was that everybody chipped in and bought me an apple watch. i wasn’t sure if i wanted such an extravagant gift, but i quickly realized that it was awesome.

i wore it running on the 27th, three days after my birthday, and then mom and i were about to go walking and while in the UIS parking lot i took off the protective cover to wipe away the sweat under it and took off the watch…and promptly dropped and shattered it on the ground.

bad, so bad. i felt worse because they’d bought me such a thoughtful gift. amy quickly looked it up online and found that it would not be worth it to have it fixed and they hadn’t bought insurance for it.

after about a week or two i decided i wanted another one, and i have it now, with insurance, and i only take it off when they’re a cushion under it.


ok then,



things on thursday

by grace on May 27, 2010

we had TORRENTIAL RAIN and a HUGE FLOOD yesterday afternoon.  streets were like lakes, traffic was a snarled mess, cars were floating away, raw sewage was bubbling up out of the sinks at the local tv station (they kept playing that footage over and over)…and we really weren’t affected by the whole thing.  i was waiting for a massage client to show up and she called to see if i still wanted to give her a massage, and i said, you’re the one who had to drive in the flood to get here.  she waited a little bit and then she came because she was DESPERATE for a massage.

i didn’t realize the full scope of the flood till last night when i looked at the online photos people had taken all around town.  amazing, amazing, all that water.

we did get some water in the basement, but randy had standing water in his basement which has nice carpet all over it, and he’s very depressed about that.

meanwhile, i’ve been neglecting to post some pictures we’ve been taking, so here they are.  this is after amy did my hair for the wedding on saturday.  unfortunately, the fancy bun part is on the same side as my HUGE HILLBILLY GAP and i was trying not to smile too much here.

the wedding started at 5:30 and i went to amy’s at 4:20 and told it it was more important to have it fast rather than good.  so she started fixing my hair, and aunt sandy and i were chatting and amy said after a couple minutes HOW MUCH TIME DO WE HAVE?  she thought we only had five minutes, but there was plenty of time.  she said she’d been doing a poor job because she was so rushed, but then it all came together and was dazzling.  but “we need a flower,” she said.  at this point it was 4:49 and randy had just showed up because he was driving to the wedding. “anything, any kind of silk flower you have would work, it’ll only take a second,” she continued, as we ran back to my house to look.

she looked at the many fake flower wreaths and pots on the front porch, but they were much too full of bugs and cobwebs.  she ran around upstairs, i ran to the basement, we grabbed different flowers, and she picked one that she thought was good.

it was all very exciting, and i was changing into my dress as i ran around, and we went back to her house, she stuck the flower in my hair, and we left at 5:15.  for the 5:30 wedding.

when we got there, the guys in the wedding party were just walking up to the wedding gazebo, so we made it in plenty of time.  but none of the night, for me anyway, was exciting as our mad last-minute 90 second dash for the fake flower.

after the wedding, randy and i had to go to the hoogland where his brother was wrapping up his elvis show.  earlier in the day we’d gotten 36 balloons for the show and i loved holding onto them.  here’s me saturday morning.

and here’s john and randy taking the decorations down much later in the night.

kevin got back home from the skirmish on monday and instead of sleeping in his tent, he slept in the van.  so when he got back it looked like he’d been living in the van.  down by the river.

luckily they didn’t have any torrential rains there, so it was just filled with stuff but not mud.

lots and lots of stuff.

monday night, birthday eating; here’s the CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING.  mmmm, chocolaty goodness.

i love this picture that kevin took of a heron early tuesday morning.  maybe it was there to fix the boat.

he took all these pictures yesterday morning, and it once again makes me wish i had any desire at all to get up early, because it’s just so damn beautiful then.

luckily there are some lovely things other times of the day, too.  we’ve had some baltimore orioles flying around, and yesterday one of them was outside the window trying to wrestle with a big ball of stuff.  i was able to take a bunch of pictures of him.

nature, nature everywhere.

i never knew what a baltimore oriole was until kevin told me, and we have so many this year in the yard.  one day i also saw a vivid red bird, definitely not a cardinal, with a bright red stomach and black wings.  kevin and jim said it was a scarlet…a scarlet…mugwumper.  thumptrolloper.  slackbondeefer.  i can’t remember, but it sure was pretty.

ok then,

thursday hillbilly grace.

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by grace on February 19, 2010

my friend gary made an awesome duck cake and sent me a photo…he sent me the photo in JANUARY, and what, exactly have i been so busy with that i didn’t even have time to open the photo?  what, i ask you?  playing  breaking the old one then trying to figure out my new camera?  watching the olympics?

the olympics are very important.  i saw a feature on the news last night about curling and i want to see/read more about it because it seems like such an anomaly mixed in there with all the difficult hard-core sports there are.


i wish i had a piece of that duck cake right now.  or any cake at all, come to think  of it.

ok then,

friday afternoon grace.

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