Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yeah, it's like that

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Me too, Jeremy. Me, too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Throw me some beads, mister!

When we moved to Baton Rouge in December, 1990, it was like moving to a different planet. The customs and traditions were so different from what I knew, coming from a small Ohio River town, more a hillbilly than a midwesterner. The only thing I had in common with the people in Louisiana was the fact that I knew how to say "y'all" without sounding like an idiot. As hard as it was for me, it was even harder for our kids, who at that time were 15, 11, and 9 years old. They were thrust into a lifestyle they weren't born into and, believe me, there was a lot of adjusting to go around.

One thing we didn't have trouble adjusting to was King Cake. I had never heard of it before, and everyone we met told us how great it was and we would have our chance to try it on January 6. Now, I, being ingorant of Catholic holidays and holy days, had no idea why that date was significant. In the small Baptist community in which I grew up, we didn't mark the Day of Epiphany, or Shrove Tuesday, or Ash Wednesday. I had a lot to learn.

When the kids all went to school after the Christmas break, they came home talking about this King Cake. The tradition in all the schools and offices and just about anyplace where more than 3 people congregate on a daily basis was to bring a King Cake once a week. The teachers usually started the ball rolling. In the middle of this cake there is a miniature plastic naked doll representing the Baby Jesus. Whoever gets the baby is responsible for bringing in the next round of cake. Sure enough our turn came around pretty soon.

At that time, I didn't have a recipe, and besides it's waaay too much trouble just to send it to school to be devoured by hungry brats children. So off we went to the nearest grocery store to pick up a King Cake. Every store and bakery sells them. Heck, the bakeries will even ship them for you overnight. I bought two so we could try it out. At home I discovered that it isn't really cake, per se. It's more like a large oval cinnamon roll and it comes in many different flavors. Trademark decorations--sugars in the royal colors of purple(justice), green (faith), and gold (power)--honor the three kings who visited the Christ child on Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas. It was delicious and we bought many of them over the almost five years we lived there.

Of course, everyone knows what all this eating of King Cake leads up to....Mardi Gras! Or Fat Tuesday. When you live within driving distance of New Orleans, everyone you know with an inclination for travel wants to come visit during Mardi Gras. So we went to Mardi Gras. Now, contrary to what most people think, the parades are not just on Fat Tuesday. They spread them out over a course of two or three weeks. There are so many Krewes that they could never cram all of them into one day and night. And Mardi Gras doesn't just happen in New Orleans. Most of the larger cities on the Gulf Coast have their own celebrations, as well as lots of little Cajun towns that do their own versions. It's just party, party, party!

Only one time did we go on Fat Tuesday and it was with a group from David's work on a chartered bus driven by an armed a knowledgeable and very large driver. A restaurant on St. Charles Avenue was our base, so we could come and go as we pleased. It's supposed to be the "family-oriented" parade route. Well, if you consider drunken fools shoving you in front of a float pressing up against you from behind and normally reasonable women flashing their boobies to get more beads thrown at them, then, yeah, it's family oriented. I really don't like crowds.

This is a picture of one of the floats with Harry Connick, Jr. as King of the Krewe. Yes, I was that close to him.  
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Look at the ladders in the background. With the boxes on top. Children and small women with big boobies sit in these so they can see better and, therefore, be seen. They get lots of throws. Sometimes the women even have enough beads to cover their nakedness.

Here is my version of King Cake borrowed from Southern Living Magazine.

I couldn't find any purple sparkling sugar and it really doesn't work trying to color your own with food coloring. It turned out a lovely shade of charcoal. There's a reason they don't give you the formula for making purple Easter egg dye on the back of the food coloring box. Anyway, I had to substitute purple beads. I think it looks just as pretty.
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So, have a slice of King Cake and as they say in New Orleans, laissez le bon temps rouler. Let the good times roll, baby!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day dresses and messes


The cupcakes I made for V-day were tasty vanilla with seven-minute frosting, but the sprinkles on top made a huge mess. They are all over the kitchen and dining room. The grandkids liked them, so I suppose it was worth it.

Matthew is soooo close to crawling!

The girls are wearing their jumpers handmade by Grammy. They fit perfectly and I must be a good guesser, because I didn't measure anything, not even the length. I was holding my breath on that one. It's hard to see because of the heart pattern, but Lauren's has a side pleat and Kaitlyn's has a double flounce. They both have heart-shaped buttons, but they disappear into the other hearts.
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Nathan is reading a book to his dad, Daniel, and to Matthew, who didn't make it into the photo. He is progressing very quickly with his reading.

Poppy and Gaige are enjoying a cuddle on the sofa.
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Sunday, February 8, 2009


I went to Jaye's this past week to help him out with a couple of things and decided to give Matthew a bath while I was there. Mommy and Daddy were still using the baby tub to bathe him, but this big boy yearned to be in big water. He had a ball, splashing and making lots of cute baby noises. When I got him out and dried off, I couldn't stop smelling his neck. He smelled sooo good.


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Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm an English Genius!

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Yep, as valedictorian of Symmes Valley High School's Class of '71, the improper use of the English language is one of my top ten pet peeves! However, I do admit to the excessive, use, of, commas, from, time, to, time. Oh yeah, once in a while I like to mix up a metaphor or two. Don't tell me that you don't!

I took this test at HelloQuizzy. It's fun, you should try it.

By the way, I have to confess that I only scored 50% on the history test. My son with the history degree will be so proud!

Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test...

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 100% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

Take The Commonly Confused Words Test
at HelloQuizzy