Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

'A pie for Mike's parents this morning.  I talked with my parents last night and know they are visiting cemeteries today, as they faithfully do this weekend every year, to plant flowers around loved ones' graves. That my own dad was welcomed home from the service in 1969 with a family party and a cake in his honor and not with a graveside American flag and red, white, and blue Petunias is something I am more grateful for the older I get. And that Memorial Day seems to have become appreciated more for stores' sales and a three-day weekend than for the sacrifices of those in our military is something that disturbs me more each year. Thank you to those who have served and who are serving now, and a thank you to their families, as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chalkboard Green

I had been trying to think of a way to cover some of the glossy brown faux-wood cabinets in our kitchen ever since we first looked at this apartment last summer, and finally, a couple weeks ago, it occurred to me to cover them, as much as budget would allow, with adhesive sheets of green chalkboard. The chalkboard sheets arrived in the mail yesterday, and within ten minutes this afternoon, I had transformed our cupboards from something I didn't like to something Mike and I are both getting a kick out of, and now the cabinet-fronts pick up the rest of the green in our tiny kitchen too. It only took nine months to think of this. :) 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

35th Birthday Rainbow Cake

After returning from my parents' yesterday afternoon--where we did not take family photos at midnight, thank you :)--I raced around creating my birthday cake for me and Mike. I'd wanted to make a rainbow cake for awhile, and yesterday was the day: Six layers of white-cake-turned-colorful with homemade pink buttercream frosting in between and on top. I used the "Congratulations, it's a girl" button my parents had been given by the hospital the day I was born and also my long-saved "Valerie" heart magnet from my aunt Laurie, both wrapped in plastic wrap, as cake toppers along with rainbow sprinkles and 35-plus-1-to-grow-on candles. Baking the six layers in yesterday's heat and humidity wasn't the most fun I'd ever had, especially after waking up at 5 a.m. and being on a bus all morning, but it was worth it. I wanted my 35th birthday cake to reflect what I want to put into and get out of this next year of my life: Boldness, creativity, joy, and love. 
Methinks you have to know how long you'll live before you can state when you've reached the halfway point, but I think that by most definitions, I'm now considered middle-aged. I love it. May this next year be filled with love and learning and laughter and light. And may I never stop looking for rainbows. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Birthday Reenactments

I'm soon traveling home to Mom and Dad's for an early birthday visit. Last year at this time. . .

MAY 2011 AT MY PARENTS' HOUSE, GOING ON MIDNIGHT:

MOM: (knocking on my bedroom door) Vally? You still awake?

VAL: Yeah. Come on in.

MOM: (looking sheepish) I just realized--We forgot to take pictures during your party tonight! Do you mind if we take some now?

VAL: Now? What--?! Mom, I'm in my pajamas! I already packed everything for the trip back tomorrow!

MOM: (looking sad) I know, but I really wanted pictures. Couldn't we just set it all up again real fast and I could take just a couple?

VAL: Are you serious?! What, do I have to get dressed again too? Are we going to re-wrap all the presents?!

MOM: (smiling) I can just set it up pretty. It'll only take a minute and then you can get back to bed.

VAL: (laughing and getting out of bed) You are crazy. Oh my goodness. (walking out into living room where my dad's still watching TV) Dad! Do you hear this? Did you hear what she wants me to do? Mom just got me out of bed so we can set up my birthday party again because she forgot to take pictures! She's crazy. (to Mom, who's already busy unpacking my bags and setting up the gift table) You're crazy! This is really nuts, Mom, even for you!

DAD: (not looking up from his baseball game) That sounds about right. Oh, now that I'm retired, you should see some of the oddball things she comes up with. . . . "Build this, Geno! Make me one of theeeeeeese. . . .Climb up on the roooooof, Geno. . . ."


MOM: (mumbling to herself as she bustles around the dining room table) I think if I just put a few napkins over the side of the cake, it won't look like we ate any of it.

DAD: (groans in the living room)

VAL: W-o-w. (resigning herself to the madness) Let me at least tie my hair up. . . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Flowers

A local church's garden is full of rain-soaked Iris flowers this morning. 'Love, love, love.