Monday, March 30, 2009

Heer's Da Cake

My sweet niece, Corrine, emailed me these fine pictures last night--despite the fact that she's probably still preparing for finals--(college student, you know).
I'm so glad to have the slaving in the kitchen done. All the technical problems solved and completed. And, to make it even more worthwhile, I got a very nice compliment from someone who attended the reception, via my sister:
"So, who did Shalise's wedding cake? I have a birthday coming up soon."

I chuckled when my sister told me and said,
"You can tell him, 'Sure! My sister would be happy to make your cake--if you want to fly her back out here!" She and I both laughed.

PS. I didn't do the flowers. The lady that did the decorating (of the room) did those. I could have, and have done so in the past--but we must give credit to those who earn it! I think she did a lovely job and was glad I could tell her so in person.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm Back

Just over a week ago I left for my niece's wedding in the Rocky Mountains. I do love the Rocky Mountains, by the way. They were gorgeous, rugged, and topped with snow at various points. My cute little niece was bouncy and bubbly, when not vexed and over-stressed with all the last minute things to do--while patiently giving up seeing her intended for a full week so he could complete his quotas for chosen career field--insurance. He worked like a demon, from what I heard, and it was said that since he rarely slept or shaved over the long ordeal . . . well, he might have looked a little rough. However, by doing so and going above and beyond the required quota of writing policies or whatever, his superiors were most impressed and he got the career path he was shooting for--as I understand it.

In the meantime . . . I slaved over the cake baking chores as best I could while enjoying several hours of visiting with my delightful nephews--brothers of the bride and the parents--my baby sister and her husband. The day before the wedding, I think I racked up close to 14 hours (or more) of cake baking, icing making, cake frosting, ganache making, mumbling and grumbling when the ganache bled through the white frosting/icing whatever you like to call the sticky sweet stuff and had me nearly in tears. I've never combined ganache filling and topping with white iced sides on a cake. Shoot! I've never made a 14" layer (or two together for one tier) kind of layer for a wedding cake before. Have I? Hmmmmm. Let's see. Ummmmm. Maybe. Perhaps the bottom layer of my daughter's carrot cake wedding cake 11 years ago was 15" in diameter. Yes. Maybe so. So, you see, I've never made a 14 incher prior to last Friday. This tier of the cake was a Devil's food, and very moist. The middle tier was only 10" in diameter and a marble cake (2 layers deep) with the same icing and ganache. The top tier (which is kind of misleading, I think. Each tier was resting on a different satin draped pedestal; each pedestal of a different height.) was a white cake with the same treatment as the other two tiers.

Late that night (very late that night--around 11:30 pm) we delivered the cake to the refrigerator at the Church. I was majorly relieved!!!!! And NOTHING fell apart!! It was wonderful!!!

The following day was the wedding. The Maid of Honor came. She was a darling girl and just what the bride needed to assist in calming and directing her for the remainder of the day--at least till the groom took over.

Surly there've been few brides as bouncy, giggly and delighted to be marrying the man of her dreams as my niece. She--and he--radiated--and they couldn't stop kissing each other. Strange behavior, if you ask me. You know, for a newly married couple to just kissy-face all over the place like that. Strange. Very strange. *smirk*

The reception was very lovely. Decorations were elegant. The cake garnered several compliments--which was nice--even if the bride already gushed her thanks. I was very blessed to have participated in the whole thing.

As another bonus, I was able to visit with my Mother, who's birthday was the day before the wedding--another nephew and his lovely wife hosted a party for Mom on Monday. It was well attended and quite enjoyable for all of us. Mom beamed while surrounded by many--though a small portion--of her posterity of over 100 individuals. If I remember correctly (and she remembered correctly) there are closer to 175 grandchildren and great-grandchildren combined.

We experienced snow from Sunday evening through most of Monday. Got around 4-6 inches. It's been quite a while since my last experience with lots of snow!

But now I'm home with storms raging outside of another sort . . . we're under Sever Weather Warnings, Tornado Watches and Warnings. And my throat is sore. And I'm not sure if my migraine ever completely left from last week and yesterday. Anyway, I'm back home and happy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wet Weekend

Friday it rained. By late Friday night we had five (5) inches of rain in the rain gauge. Many low places and small streams had become large lakes. We so very much needed the rain. Thank Heaven it came!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring (and lots of pollen) Is in the Air

Saturday I felt wretched: headache, tons of sinus drainage, feeling flushed, and add to that nausea. I couldn't figure it out. A little while later, I went out to run errands. Then I saw it!!! The culprit. Pollen. My car was COVERED with yellow oak and/or pine pollen. I don't know why it always surprises me each year, each spring, but it did. Again! Oh, the pain and agony of--no, not allergies, according to the good allergy doctor who tested me--but of irritants that deeply and profoundly affect me and my overall wellness indicators. No end of irritants. And I feel well irritated, indeed!

As I grow longer in the tooth, I find that my "comfort zone" temperature-wise is growing thinner and thinner. Whereas 70 degrees on the thermostat inside when the outside temps. measure in the 20-60 degree temperature range--finds me freezing cold. However, Saturday, the temperature inside registered 73 and outside about the same. I was perspiring like a--well--leave it at that. It wasn't a pretty picture. I was miserable. And besides that, I don't like it. In about a week, however, I'll be refreezing my tail off once again when I embark on a journey to the Rocky Mountains for my niece's wedding. They're getting snow now and for the next few days, it looks like. Oh, the joy!

However, the spring flowers are abundant--the kind I actually enjoy seeing--the kind that don't shower TONS of the irritating pollen upon every surface known to man that is under the wide expanse of heaven's dome--at least here on this particular portion of earth. Our azaleas (and many others) are blooming everywhere. Spirea are blossoming. Redbud trees, Bradford pear trees, plum trees, tulip trees all look wonderful and life in general is waking up after tumultuous, cold weather. Oh. Remember our little, wonderful, happy, early-blooming peach tree? The warm temperatures followed by freezing temperatures managed to kill most of the tender little peaches. *Sigh* but I found a few that have mustered up the courage to hang on. Those little peaches are probably no bigger than the end of my finger, but they are hanging on for dear life--at this point.

So, it appears that life maintains an equilibrium: beautiful flowers to gladden the heart, and pollen, ugly pollen by the truck load, to irritate and cause misery to other parts of one's anatomy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Inspirational Art Display

Recently my husband, one of our daughters and I were able to visit a very uplifting and inspirational art display that's been touring the country. One evening we were treated to some wonderful inspirational music by the pianist and two vocalists who performed some hymns and spoke of their personal experiences with this project. Apparently this art display began as an ad for an Easter Pageant in Arizona. Another evening we were able to meet the photographer. He shared a brief history of how he felt led by the Lord to be prepared to make this all come to pass. He began college as a political science major--with Russian somewhere thrown in the mix. One day he just stood up in class and left. Felt he wanted to learn how to be a professional photographer. Went to school. Did some fashion photography. Still wasn't satisfied with that career. And one day an Easter Pageant needed some ads done and he felt inspired to proceed along that course. His life changed by degrees through those experiences.

We also saw a video showing some of what took place as he took photos of individuals representing some of the important episodes of the Savior's life. Music had been prepared to accompany the display. It was a great experience. It made me feel a new awe and gratitude for who Jesus Christ is and how central to God's plan His mission was and is. It was a wonderful experience for each of us.

Here's a link if you'd like to check it out and get to see some of Mark Mabry's work. The music is available for you to listen to, if you're interested. A video is included on the site showing how he was able to get some of the shots included in the display.