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All on Mama's Birthday


"Will you be able to get by the vacuum cleaner?" the Husband asked, who hauled the vacuum cleaner upstairs and set it beside the bathroom door, as I pretty please asked (so I hope). "I'm sure you will."

"I have a plan," I said, tippy-tapping on the keyboard, not realizing yet that he had headed down the stairs. "Bathroom, office, and bedroom. I'll vacuum in that order." 

At least, vacuum the bathroom today. Over the next few days, I'll also dust and vacuum downstairs. No party, thanks for asking. (For those who are new to my quirks, I generally do heavy cleaning for an upcoming party.) Sometime soon, we'll be going on a short road trip to Northern California to visit the Husband's family as well as take in a bit of the coast and redwoods. Since Molly the Cat will be roaming indoors for a few days, I thought I'd clean the house. Maybe even give her a dry shampoo.

By the way, the photo above of Missy and the Husband was taken in the backyard last week. Molly likes it when her humans hang outdoors with her. I've probably said that before. 


LIMONCELLO BUNDT CAKE
Today I made a limoncello bundt cake recipe. I say recipe because I used an angel food cake pan rather than a bundt cake pan, which I realized as I was flipping the cake onto the rack. I did wonder why the baking pan's wall was so high when the Husband got it down for me from the cabinet above the icebox. It's a good thing I checked the oven before the full 55 minutes was up. I would've ended up with a burnt bundt cake recipe.

This is my first try at the recipe. I followed it 98% of the way. Okay, 96%. I added uncalled-for lemon juice and a bit more sugar to the cake batter to balance the slightly bitterness of the limoncello, which I'm happy to say I made in May. Other than that, I did everything the recipe said: Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg one at a time, sift dry ingredients, and so forth and so on.

The cake is on the dry side (probably due to using the wrong pan) and the limoncello flavor is weak. Maybe the lemon flavor will be stronger tomorrow after a night in the icebox. If only it would become moist. The Husband said I ought not be so critical about the cake, to which I reminded him that I shall be entering a limoncello bundt cake into the county fair.

I wonder where the bundt cake pan is.


BEST VIEWED FROM FAR AWAY
Another work in the progress for the fair is a pastel drawing I started last week. It turns out pastels and me agree. The colors are rich and thick similar to what I get with crayons and acrylic paints. And, best of all, I use my hands directly with the medium (correct term and usage?). I still remember that sense of surprise, joy, and amazement I felt the first time I finger painted. Getting messy with pastels, same feelings.

I haven't decided yet if I'm done with the drawing—that's what you see up there, next to the cake. I like what I see in the drawing from 10 feet away. Up close, it looks like a mess. The Husband suggested that I post a sign saying Best Viewed from 10 Feet Away, At Least.


MAMA'S BIRTHDAY
Mama's Spirit turned 98 today. Two years shy of the 100 that Mama liked to say she was when people asked, "How old are you now?" Mama thought that was a rude question.

For several years, she visited an ophthalmologist every six months to ensure that all was well with her eyes. She thought it was unnecessary, and maybe she was right, but she disliked seeing physicians, so I jumped when a physician wanted to monitor her health. Mama had to have liked the cheerful, flirty demeanor of her ophthalmologist to be willing to clean up, dress in her best duds, put on makeup, and sit uncomfortably in the back seat for 15 miles or so to the next town. Within seconds with the ophthalmologist, Mama was all smiles. He always gushed over how healthy she looked followed by the question, "What do you eat to stay so young?" She replied, with a giggle, "Rice."

In honor of Mama's day, I deadheaded daisies in the front yard, baked a cake, made chicken vegetable soup with leftovers (which tasted horrible!), and vacuumed the stairs. The Husband picked up the fallen fruit in the backyard and watered the flowers and trees back there. All things about which Mama was happy to see us do when she was still with us. Also, surprised, but she'd never say so.
Sundays seem to come quickly.  Please come along and wander links to other blogs at All Seasons, hosted by Jesh of The Jesh Studio, and Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf.




Comments

  1. Hello, I love the Momma images from over the years. Cute kitty! Your pastel painting is pretty, I like the colors. The bundt cake looks yummy, wish I could try a piece. The trip to California sounds great, have fun. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen. We live in the central California coast region, but we're the only county that doesn't have a coastline. We do have the San Andreas Earthquake fault running through us. Going to Northern California, a few hours above San Francisco, is like going to another state.

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  2. Happy Birthday Mama! You sure give us hope to live and enjoy life for so many years! Birthday hugs coming your way! Diane

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Because Mama lived into her 90s, I see being in my 60s as young. :-)

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  3. what a grand idea to put pics by decade... your mama was a movie star in the 40's! Gorgeous. I cracked up to hear you're deep cleaning and baking in her honor! Loved that the doctor made her heart flutter... what a gift he had. He made a routine appt personal... how rare. Love Molly... amazed you have an upholstered chair outside! Have the best trip, wish we were right there alongside but then Milo would push you away from the window. LeeAnna

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    1. Thanks, Lee Anna. The 40s shot was taken on her wedding day. It's the only one in which she doesn't have her wide full-of-light smile. Next year, we'll be putting the Husband's dad's recliner-love seat out in the back. It's prfect for naps and reading.

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  4. You make me smile and feel guilty for being such a slug. Mama was a fine looking woman and I adore the pic of her and Molly (is that Molly?). I love how you did her through the years.
    I think you should add the best seen bit to your art as a larf, but honestly I love it.
    I've not used pastels but like just knowing they exist and yes it seems as if they suit you well.
    Your bundt cake sounds fine, I'd think ice cream or frozen dessert in my case, some fruit and/or whipped cream would help if you find it dry. I wonder if it's the limoncello that dries it out? My mother always added pudding to her bundt cakes. Mmm, now I want lemon pudding bundt cake.
    But honestly I'd fill my apartment with your drawings.
    Kisses even though most cats act as if they hate that sort of thing to Molly.

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    1. Jeanna, really, you'd hang my drawings on your wall? Thank you very much, as Elvis liked to say. But don't you go getting guilty on me. I'm not going to feel guilty about being a slug for much of my day. I'm glad I make you smile. :-)
      Yes, that was Molly with Mama. I think it was Molly's second year of celebrating Mama's birthday.
      My samplers hardly tasted lemon in the bundt cake so I'm adding lemon to the limoncello portion and go with sour cream rather than milk. I like to experiment with baking now and then but because I'm being good, excuse me, mindful, about desserts, I mostly bake for parties or the fair. Why else enter the fair?

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  5. I like the idea of cleaning and baking to honor someone's memory too. Love the pictures by decade. Your mother looks like she was a great woman.

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    1. Mama certainly was a great woman, Shasta. Thank you for saying so. Mama's star has an even bigger glow.

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  6. I had company for a week so we got a lot of projects done. When I'm not having company I have to pretend my mother is coming to visit or one of my neater than me friends. Did you bake that cake for your mama? I enjoyed meeting her via the photos! Thanks for mosying into my blog living room.

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    1. Imagining a neat freak coming for a visit doesn't work for me. Well, maybe I'll pick up the blankets from the couches and do a quick swipe around the bathroom sink. should they really visit.
      I knew it was Mama's birthday but I hadn't thought I was baking a birthday cake until I was beating the eggs. She would've told me the cake was delicious and to make it all the time.

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  7. Happy Birthday! Love the cake - I'd love to celebrate with a piece!

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    1. There you go, Carol. Imagine that I passed a plate to you. :-)

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  8. Happy birthday to your mama! She was such a beauty. I love the photos through the years. I love your stories and I LOVE that art. I am very happy I was able to stop here today. You made me smile big. HUGS and LOVE

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    1. Hello Anne! Thank you so much for dropping by. Right back at you, Love and hugs.

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  9. She aged pretty well throughout the decades.

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    1. hahahah, you saved yourself, Adam, with the birthday greeting. :-) Mama would've been pleased with your compliment. We all want to hear that.

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  10. Love the images you put together of your mama on what would have been her birthday!
    Love her hairstyle in the first one. Yay for you, now knowing what you will take with you for the fair! Wishing you a great time there and many thanks for sharing it with All Seasons! Enjoy it! Jesh

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    1. Thanks, Jesh. There are other things I'll be entering. A couple of craftsy things I've shown in previous posts, and several things still a work in progress or being tossed in my mind.

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  11. I'm sure you have wonderful memories of being with your Mama. All your photos are great this week.

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    1. Thank you, Betty. I'm glad that the Husband got to share her last 13 years with me.

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  12. Su-sieeemac - I totally understand your feelings about the cake - especially as you intend to enter it in the fair …. hopefully you still have some time to experiment - and in the meantime, something sweet for you all to eat! Happy Birthday to Mama's Spirit - she is alive and well in you! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday, my friend!

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    1. I ought to try it one more time with the modifications, heavy on the lemon. Maybe I'll throw a tasting party. Good idea, Angie. :-)

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  13. Happy Spirit Birth Day to the Mama . . . love the painting. :)

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  14. Congratulations to Mama - that is a high age. And the last photo of her & Molly is adorable <3 Wishing you all a lovely week.

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    1. Mama hoped to reach 100. Unfortunately her body gave out. I like to think she slipped out peacefully.

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  15. Nice memories of your Mama. We do major cleaning when company is expected too.

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    1. I wonder what it would take to get the Husband and me to finally repaint the garage door.

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  16. ...Mothers are important people in our lives!

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  17. Lovely memories of your dear mum...
    All th best!

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  18. Your Mama was lovely! I love the photos you shared. 😊 Thank you for visiting my blog, that was nice of you and I hope you have a great trip! Kit

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  19. Happy Birthday Mama! Loved the pics!

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  20. I love the beautiful Mama! ... and every single thing about this post. You could change or add to your header “in my mind I’m five (?) years old and finger-painting with abandon and joy for the first time ....”. You would be able to word it much better, but I’m sure you can follow my train of thought.

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  21. PS...I hate vacuuming. This husband does what little we must (because we mostly have mappable floors, not because I’m a total slob. Although sometimes that might be true also.)

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  22. You've been busy. And cake is always good, even if dry. That's what frosting is for, right?

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  23. A great post and memories of your Mama, the photos are lovely :)

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  24. Your mom’s would b proud! She still lives in her garden, in the heavens and in your memories but it’s still hard as I miss my mom. You’ll work on your buddy cake and you will get it perfect but I bet 8t does taste great. Love your pastel which is Impressiionist in looks and feel which means it’s perfect to look at it from far away which is wha5 the impressions wanted

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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