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Let Them Eat Cake

And so they did. For breakfast even. Yup, nothing like a big slab of cake for breakfast, or do you eschew that sort of thing, opting instead for oatmeal? I am somewhat kidding, as I told you in my last post, I'd not made a layer cake in years, however, after finishing off the chocolate cake, and seeing the pretty cake stand empty, I decided, why not? Red Velvet from King Arthur is the cake,  which is tasty, but OH MY GOSH, the frosting is to die for.
Light and fluffy, it is an old fashioned recipe calling for milk, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla. Years ago I used to make a version of it, and now I've found it again online. Actually there are a number of recipes available,  but I chose to use this one from the New York Times. They called it Ermine Frosting for reasons that are not clear to me. In any case, should you have a hankering for a layer cake, and want to make your own, try this frosting and believe me, you will not be disappointed in the least!

Let's see, today is Thursday, so it was on Tuesday morning that I FINALLY found the owlets and are they ever growing quickly. I'd planned, well actually, I could hardly wait to show them to you, however, I am not showing you those photographs. Instead, yesterday morning was very, very stormy and my bike ride had to be put on hold. During a break in the rain I went out to do some errands, stopping first on Sweetbriar. You are NOT surprised are you? Driving up I could not believe my luck!!!
This was a difficult task deciding what to show you, but basically, my owlets were in the tree overhanging the road eating breakfast, and I can assure you it was not cake! Originally it was just this one with the sibling looking on.
Before long, he flew into the large crevice and shared in the treat. Then the one started grooming the other!! I was, of course, dying! As well, it was so gloomy I could not imagine how my shots would be any good. In spite of me having the camera on the wrong setting, well, I was excited, what can I say? Anyway, there were far more good ones than I could ever have hoped for.
See how cute? Seriously!! After more than a week looking for them I really could not believe my eyes. Eventually a blue jay landed on a nearby branch, harassing them so much they eventually flew into another nearby tree, but not before I got this one parting shot.
Unreal. You may have noticed how he is waving goodbye?

So that was super good news. What was not so good news is what I learned when I went to Red Hill Groves for my orange juice fix;  they told me the previous week that the season would be over when they ran out this week.
What they did not tell me, however, is that they are closing this location forever. Since 1962 for crying out loud! One of the brothers explained that with the citrus greening blight, they just could not keep going which is such a blow to us. Not to mention more so to them! Ironically, not ten feet from this sign is a historical marker stating that at one time the whole of Conway was filled with cattle and turpentine mills. Oranges replaced them, and now houses will be replacing all of our remaining citrus groves. Boo hoo!!

I finished the charity quilt I was working on, and although I like it, my design was not what it should have been. I found something I liked on a quilting blog, cut the fabric, pieced everything, used the cute owl fabric for the backing, quilted the whole thing, and attached the binding. As I was doing the hand sewing I kept thinking to myself that it just was not as cute as I'd hoped for. Well, duh. Looking at the photograph again I discovered that I added an extra row of white, which not only does not look as good, but was a great deal more work!
The learning continues....

Do you see anything unusual in the photo below?
Nothing? Good, that's what I was hoping for when I placed an open bar of tea tree oil soap under our mattress pad on Bruce's side of the bed. Why do that, pray tell? I know it sounds insane, but according to hundreds of people on the People's Pharmacy website, a bar of soap will keep leg cramps away, and with Bruce suffering from them nightly, we figured what could trying it hurt? Unbelievably, it is working so far. He's now gone about a week without a single cramp! I agree it sounds crazy, and there is zero explanation on how it works, but he's enjoying some quality sleep while it does.

I took another photograph of Pam's iris in different light, and I'm not sure it is still true to color, but it is so pretty, what the heck, let's see it again!
I bet Georgia O'Keeffe would have loved it. As too she would have loved to paint the one I saw in Cheryle's garden. It is another stunner!
While riding along I began thinking that if there were another show about older ladies they might call it The Garden Girls. I know several who would fit that bill!

The air is heavy with scent these days, what with the blooming Confederate Jasmine and the Magnolias on every street.
Absolutely heavenly! Following our rainy day, we are enjoying a day to write home about. If only Irene were visiting this week! The sky is blue, the air, and temperature, are perfect. A gift we sorely needed before Greater Summer arrives, of which we got a small dose of last week.

Beauty everywhere I look,

Gail

p.s. Our new Costco opened yesterday, and that is also something to celebrate. Maybe not with a cake....



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