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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Mardi Gras

Just to show you how out of it I am, I thought Mardi Gras was last week. We inadvertently celebrated it last night, in conjunction with G's b-day, when she made us all silly paper hats to wear for her party. Earlier in the day, the girls threw a masquerade ball for Orlando, our marmalade, and ever so patient, cat, and Jack the hedgehog. The poor things were forced to wear crowns and masks, while they all danced to Bach.

We had a change of plans for the birthday cake. I couldn't locate my recipe for the lemon chiffon cake, but did find one for a lemon pound cake with lemon glaze that I had saved on my computer. We decided to triple the recipe, technically getting our math in for the day, and share one of the cakes with Mr. and Mrs. N in appreciation for all the yummy treats they send our way. It was challenging, trying to blend a triple-sized batch of batter a mano, but I figure I burned enough calories to enjoy a guilt free second helping. Oh my, was it good.

I realized yesterday how much I miss my cookbooks. My all time favorite is a Depression era cookbook that belonged to G's grandmother. Only have two eggs? One? None? No butter? No sugar? Need to bake a cake? No problem! All the substitutions you could ever need and more, plus Mom D's notes in the margins.

The girls hiked over to deliver the cake, and just as I was getting a little nervous about the length of time they'd been gone, they came trudging across the yard with three bags in their hands. Books! The Ns had culled their library and prepared three large stacks of books for Goodwill...until mine showed up. G giggled that they only have one medium size stack now, and how it was like getting another birthday present.


My nieces left yesterday. So? Weren't we thinking about leaving the country and all our extended family for two years ourselves? Well, yeah, but we were going as one big happy family. These poor kids aren't going to see their dad but three times a year now.

I woke up at some point last night, probably after Letterman when the TV clicked itself off, and was wide awake for hours with a strong sense of foreboding. I hope they're OK. As bad as things have been over the past two years for those kids, they've always had, in addition to their dad of course, my mom or my other brother, or even me, to pop in on them up in NJ, or bring them down for a visit here, and provide some sort of comfort. Now they're gone.

It'll hit my brother hard this weekend when they don't show up.