Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Roses, roses smell so sweet.........

Last night, in our cake class, we learned to start making roses. At first, I couldn't catch on to it. Then the teacher came by, and did it holding my hands and moving them the right way. THEN, I got it. AHA! Now it is practice, practice, practice. Because next week is our last class, and we have to make a whole bunch of roses to put on top of our cakes. I am excited to learn how to finish making the roses, and hope I can do a good job. All of this builds up to making Emily's wedding cake.
I start the next cake class on Feb.7th - working with fondant and gum paste. I'll learn how to drape a cake in that class. It puts such a nice finish on the cake.
Hopefully, they'll offer a Course 2 for the regular cake class. The fondant class is an extra class. Four classes, on Thursday evenings. I'll start practicing my roses tomorrow. I need a stiff, yet pliable icing - just right. And one pastry bag for the base, and one pastry bag for the petals.
It sure smells good in our kitchen nowadays. Sweet, and yummy.

"Our Little Babies"

This is Archimedes.

This is Darcy.

This is Oliver.

This is Sweetpea!

This is Brownie.

And here's Madison!

My Soul Mate, Michael

Here is a photo of my dear soul mate, Michael, holding Oliver, one of our poms. Michael and I have been married now for 30 years. Hard to believe - time has flown by.
Michael is a retired judge and it is really nice to have him home with me all day.
He is the love of my life!


This is my daughter, Emily, and her fiance, Chris, who will be getting married June 21, 2008.

My Dad's Birthday - Jan 29th

My dad turned 86 on Jan 29th this year. He looks and acts like a 60-year old! It is amazing. I hope I inherit THOSE genes! I'll turn 55 in February.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cakes, Cakes, Cakes Everywhere!

Last night was our 3rd class in the cake decorating class. One more to go. We learned more on how to make roses. After numerous attempts, I finally got it right. All of us were eating our mistakes. LOL Then we learned some drop flowers and how to make a 3D clown to sit on top of a cake. He was cute! But definitely the rose was the hardest thing to master. I got one really right. Next Tuesday is our last class, and I need to practice, practice, practice those roses, because we are going to do our last class, and put a bouquet of roses on the cake we bring in. YIKES!!!!!!!!!! So you know what I'll be doing. A big bowl of icing on my lap and my pastry bags full, and then practice practice practice.
We've figured out that we could have bought two professionally decorated cakes for the price we have paid for all the stuff I've had to buy for the classes. Bah!
On Feb. 7th, I start the fondant and gum paste course. That should be interesting. That will truly be something new.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

THE WEDDING! - January 24, 2008

Our daughter, 28, is getting married this June. We've been working on it for the past year, to get everything in place. It seems like the year has passed so fast. She'll be marrying Christopher Smith, who she has been seeing for several years. He is a good guy and we like himvery much. We have her fitting for her gown in March, and I need to get a date from her, so I can schedule that.There are so many details that go into planning a wedding, that I would have hired a wedding planner if I had known how much work was involved. Now that I have done it all, I would never put myself through this again. Luckily we have no other children, so I won't have to go through this again. It has been fun, but it is tiring also. I want to give my daughter the wedding of her dreams, but reality sets in, and we don't have $100,000 to put into the wedding. So we do the best we can, and bless her heart, she goes along with it. I'll add a photo of her in her
wedding gown when we get that picture taken. And a photo of the two of them together.

CAKE SUCCESS! - January 23, 2008

Well, I wasn't the only one who screwed up their cake. In fact, mine was one of many icky looking ones. So I felt less alone. Gotta do another cake for next Tuesday night, plus making up icing and coloring it in the way I want it to do roses, and other flowers. So much to do, and it seems so little time. I've got to go buy a cake carrier today at KMart, after my therapist's appt. Also need to buy some more pastry bags for the class, and a birthday card for my dad - he'll be 86 on Jan. 29th and is going like a 60 year old. He is amazing. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you how I found him when I turned 50. I've only known him for the past 7 years! It is a wonderful story. Check tomorrow's entry for the story.

Cake Failure - January 22, 2008

Oh my! I have my 2nd class tonight in beginner's cake decorating, and was supposed to bring a frosted cake (homemade) in for tonight's class. Well, I made the cake okay, and got it leveled just fine. Then I made up the icing we were supposed to use. We were supposed to make up the batch of icing for the cake - using half of the icing for the cake, and half to bring in to use tonight to learn to make roses and other flowers with. Well, I started to ice the first layer, and it sure took a lot of icing. Hmmm..... I should have thought something was amiss. I put the top layer on, and piled a bunch of icing on top of it, and was starting to spread it, when it hit me. I was supposed to use the giant icing bag and this huge wide tip to spread the icing with. I remembered being instructed on how to do that, so I stopped what I was doing, and I put the rest of the icing in the pastry bag, and proceeded to finish the cake with that. Luckily, the cake icing sets up in about 15 minutes, so you can take some parchment paper and smooth it out with a smoothing tool, and it doesn't look THAT bad now, but at least I know that from now on, I'll never make THAT mistake again. I had to make up another batch of icing for tonight's class to use for learning how to make the roses and other flowers. I guess I shouldn't write myself off of this as a hobby, just because I messed up on my first cake. But boy do I feel dumb. One thing is for sure - I now know how to ice a cake properly. On to class tonight, probably with the worst looking cake there. Sad but true. I got my blood pressure up so high, over a CAKE for goodness sake! Nothing like making a mistake for learning how to do it right next time. I need a drink.

Get To Know Me!

A little about me - I'll be 55 in a month (how did THAT happen?), and am happily married to Michael for 30 years. He is a retired Judge. We have one daughter, who is getting married this June. I'm making the wedding cake. We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, in a small University town. Which means in the summers, it is nice and quiet, and then in August, the students start coming in, and in May they start leaving. The town really bustles when the students are here. But they keep the town young and hip. I'm a quilter, a knitter, a painter, a jewelry maker, and a mixed media artist. And now a cake maker. I have a nice studio to do all these things in. I'm looking forward to linking my blog with others, and keeping up with this. Right now, it is 9 degrees outside, with a wind chill of minus 2. YIKES! We have 8 dogs - 4 Pomeranians: Sweetpea, Darcy, Oliver, and Archimedes. We have 4 mixed breed dogs - one is a terrier mix, we inherited from my MIL when she passed away, named Mickey, and 1 cocker mix, named Brownie, we rescued from the pound, then 1 Pomeranian mix dog, Alice, that we rescued from the pound, and Madison, a hound dog of some sort, that we rescued from the pound. It is kinda chaotic around here. I fell a couple of months ago, and broke my sternum in half, and it has had a hard time healing, and hurts like crazy. I'll add some pictures in the next couple of days. Annie

How I found my Dad!

My mother decided to tell me, when I was 16, that the guy I had been calling Daddy, was in fact, NOT my father. He was my stepfather. She told me that she was married before and had me with her first husband but while she was pregnant with me, her husbnad left her and didn't want to know anything about me, didn't try to find out about me or anything. I asked what his name was, and she wouldn't tell me. So I had to wait until I was 21 and could legally get a copy of my birth certificate that showed my real father's name was - Edward Melvin Minium. And it noted that he was 31 at the time I was born and that he was a Chemical Engineer. Well, I had always wondered how come I looked nothing like my stepfather, and not much like my mother, but never thought anything more about it. But with the arrival of the internet, I spent some time searching for Ed Minium. When I turned 50, I finally found an Edward Melvin Minium who was listed as being 81 and living in Sonora, California. I thought that was just too easy -that HAD to be the guy - 31 when I was born, and 50 years later, 81 when I was 50. And such an unusual name. With the help of my therapist, who warned me that these things don't always work out, I set out to write him a letter - all I really wanted was a photograph of him, so I could see if I looked like him. So I wrote the letter telling him the details of my birth, according to my mother and the birth certificate, and why I thought he was my father. I put it in an envelope marked confidential and personal, because surely he had moved on in his life. I put all my contact info in the letter and just asked for a photo. I put my IM names on the computer in the letter.One night, about 4 days after I sent the letter, I got an IM from him asking if he could phone me in 10 minutes -my heart raced - yes, I answered. Then I went into the den where my husband was and told him. I told him to answer the phone for me, and then hand it off to me. My dad did call in 10 mintes,and asked to speak to me, and my voice was all trembly, and I asked if I got it right, and he said yes, that he was my father. And he said he had been looking for me all these 50 years. And he told me the truth - that my mother was pregnant with me, and he was in the process of divorcing his first wife - 2 weeks away from the final decree.My mother wanted to get married right away. And he said lets wait for the two weeks, so he didn't get into trouble being a bigamist. She would have none of that. And when he went home thatnight, he came back the next morning to talk to her some more and she was gone - lock,stock and barrel. They would not tell him where she had moved to or when she left. He was devastated, and he hired a private detective to try to find her, but the closest he got was to see her coming out of a building with a baby stroller with me in it. And that is all. He could not get an address or phone number. My dad finally gave up after 2 years, and he remarried someone else, and ended up divorcing her too. Then he found Leslie, his current wife, and has been married to her since then. He is very happy. Well, he was thrilled that I found him, and welomed me to his family. I found out that I have one half sister, and 2 half-brothers, from his first wife - so they are all older than me. I am the baby of the family. And I was able to fly out and meet and visit with them that summer and we now IM every night, if possible. And the thing is, he wanted me! It was NOT like my mother told me - that he wasn't interested in me - he is interested in all things about me. And although we were not raised together, it is amazing howalike we are. We call it TPIAP -two peas in a pod. And yes, I look a lot like him.And that is our story. And my therapist was amazed - she said these things don't usually work out, but she applauds my willingness to be disappoined, but somehow I knew it was going to be okay.