Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The last cake.

Very appropriate.  Today, officially I am old, the body acknowledges this, the mind is 20 years behind.  I'm still having strange dreams. Last night it was watching my six foot brick fence fall down. This means that I have to break out of my fenced in life or I stop watching Renovation Man.
The cat celebrated by waking up and wanting the fire on and door open at 7 a.m. I celebrated by going back to bed and waking up at 10 a.m. I'm still not showered and dressed, I'm aiming to be by late this afternoon.
BOH rang and wanted to know what I'd like for a present. Refrained from saying "your crap out of the house." and went for a Magnum ice-cream when he comes to play with the car and the cat.
Mother rang and very happy with her new earphones. 4 years ago she was having trouble getting the hang of opening a can of cat food and now, she's playing a movie or CD on the portable viewer and reading books on her iPad. The earphones are to cut down the manic noise of her roomies. The new one only last two weeks, she went up the stairway to heaven at 5 this morning.  Her granddaughter told me yesterday that she'd loved the Home and was having the best time in ages. Now that's the way to go out, having a good time.
My sister rang, that's it.
My granddaughters will catch up around September, maybe.
And after buying mother a cake, earphones, dvds and spending the afternoon with her, I forgot to buy a cake for me. Old. Memory loss.

And a bouquet of cupcakes to Ann O'Dyne for my birthday post at which I still can't comment at. Stupid blogger.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hearts from the Queen.

 I must say I haven't enjoyed a birthday countdown as much as I have this year. Now we're getting to the end, I'm going for broke.  A four tier fondant iced, with hearts and spots, I love it all. How about my favourite fruit cake for the bottom layer, then a nice tart flourless orange layer, chocolate and cherries for the next and the top, coffee and mousse layers.
Or just three layers but white chocolate coated strawberries.  This is actually supposed to be a Valentine's Day cake, shame I don't have a Valentine.  Don't do what I did and make this desktop wallpaper, it looks even better when big. I swear I didn't stop drooling for an hour.  I bet it's chocolate mud cake again. I don't understand the appeal of chocolate mud cake but the top could be white chocolate mud cake which is slightly less objectionable. White chocolate mud cake with a top layer of strawberry mousse and sponge? Any takers?
You know this is what I'm going to end up with, one lousy cupcake.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Now about that ice-cream cake.

I should not have mentioned ice-cream cake or gone looking for images of ice-cream cake. I liked the one up there so much I looked up the recipe. That's vanilla cake on the bottom and chocolate cherry ice-cream on top. The frosting is frosting, the American kind, very sweet. It was kind of them to give the calories and carbs in a single slice, 51 grams of carbohydrate. It must be the frosting. I would rather have marshmallow over the whole, more ice-cream and not so much cake and I'm sure that would take down the carbs.

I couldn't find a recipe for this but I think it looks like a trifle ice-cream cake.  So a custard and fruit type ice-cream set in a layer of jam sponge, make that thick jam sponge soaked in plonk. It would be nice done in individual dishes, decorated with swirls of whipped cream but that's just me, not being a sharer I could have it all.

But for the Princess in me, aaaww, a pink ice-cream Cinderella carriage with sugar mice. I love it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Seven cakes to go.

You all knew I'd put one in somewhere. Nothing better than a 3 tier Harry Potter cake unless it's a 4 tier Harry Potter cake. Still love Harry? In the words of dear Snape, always.

I'm not going out for my birthday dinner. I fiddled the finances a smidgeon and I'm having lovely lady come in to vac the entire house at 9 a.m. Friday morning.  All the junk on the floor that I haven't put away will go on chairs, lounge, bed or the sewing room which is the only room I've vac'd, that and the hallway when I moved his things there and my things back here.

It's a birthday present much more practical than food and I didn't think twice about doing it. I might have paused a second if ice-cream cake had been involved but only for a second. I have a big Hoover and it's been doing sterling service since 1989 and it's still sucking up cement dust from the slab underneath the carpet and it was a wonder with cat fur and dog fur and the ex's ability to walk across white marble and still pick up mud. She's only doing the vac, I can do the rest but the old hands and shoulders just wont co-operate in the shifting and moving. It took me 15 minutes to put the extension hose on it yesterday and my fingers hurt all day. Doc Marvin tells me that some cholesterol medication can irritate the muscles and make them sore. I'll go along with that.

By the time I turned the corner to the Home yesterday, I was frozen. The wind hit me dead centre in the chest and I swear I could have drilled out an ice core. I even took Ma's blankie off her and put it on me until I thawed out.  I knew we'd pay for those warm days we had.

Now I have to shift the sewing machine out of the study and put it in the sewing room because there's a monster load of shifting and moving to even see the floor in here. At least I remembered to put the bins out tonight and the neighbours won't be sneaking anything in either bin.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chocolate is, genius creates.

Thank you to Helen for this link  to Gerhard Petzl, a chocolate artist who does things like this:

Decorated chocolate shoes.  What genius.

And glorious sugar creations like this gingerbread mansion.
I will never look at a dodgy gingerbread house without seeing this
wonderful piece.

Hit his website and see what he does with chocolate painting on lovely bodies.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lord Rochester plays.

Rochester, nothing but the best for you and your musical digits.  I think a bit of Rachmaninoff for my birthday instead of the usual tarty honky-tonk.  
I hope that's Black Forest Cake under that chocolate ganache and not mud cake. I'm not fond of mud cake, boozed up black cherries and cream with chocolate sponge get a blue ribbon from me.

And one for HighRiser.

Good gracious me, the images that come up if one types in that search engine "bloke and birthday cake".  I'm not that kind of cake eater.  Anyway this was acceptable because he's not too hairy and I hate hair in my icing. I wonder just how big that cake is and what it's hiding?  Nah, I'm too old to even bother looking any more. And the cake is small if you check it against the manboobs.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I knew we'd pay for that warm day.

I was saving this cake for the actual day but my feet are still thawing out from this morning's walk for the papers. It makes me warm just looking at it and yes, I will need that many candles, damn it.
8.15 a.m., first whine of the cat and I was out of bed, fill the food dish, open the back door, turn on the fire, take BGL (very low)grab something to eat and back to bed by 8.30 a.m.  I think I woke up at 10 and it was still blowing a chill wind. 

The new TV is up and running, no problems with the old antenna and now I have 25 channels of repeat rubbish to watch. I only have one little thing to sort out, fixing widescreen dvds to fill the tv window.  There's a simple button hiding in the fifty or so buttons on the remote control and I will find it eventually. There is an instruction book for the tv, for using it as a computer, for watching movies and one page for the remote. Trying to record anything seems to require a doctorate in electronics so I'll just give that a miss for the moment.  I find it better to leave it alone for a week then give the instructions another try, repeat constantly until madness sets in or I understand that I will never understand it and give up.

Mother has a new bunkmate. A 96 year old Greek lady with 2 thousand relatives. Now I have to buy the old girl a set of earphones for the Dvd viewer so she can watch a movie in peace. So much for sister telling me not to overload her with too many dvds to watch, she's enjoying them all 2nd time around and wants more. That's the beauty of documentaries instead of movies, she watches them over again.  Lovely, I've just bought the National Trust Houses of Great Britain and the lives of Beethoven and Mozart. Keeping her happy keeps her off my back.

Overall a miserable week and according to my stars, another miserable one to come. Perhaps it's just the dreams I've been having. These are vivid like movies and not fleeting, I can wake up and write it all down. I can still see the beautiful white house with the conservatory full of ferns and sunlight streaming in and my ex turning up and wanting to sell it for his share. I was so worried about where I could get a loan to pay him out, I rang banks and mortgage brokers, all for nothing until I remembered that I already owned the house. I then threw him out the front door.  Not much explaining about that dream, obstacles all the way until I broke through and won.  Now if I could just translate that into real life.

And just when I thought my dodgy knee couldn't get much worse after the bus driver crunched the brakes and I bashed it against the back of the seat in front, very ouch.  I get an absent minded taxi driver who drove off with the door still open and my leg not yet in the car. My foot whacked against the curb and I said a few words very loudly. FFS, the idiot is sitting in front of a panel with lights telling him that the door was open and a seatbelt not fastened.  To make things worse, worse than the shooting pain up the leg, was having to tell him every inch of the way to Mentone. I should have complained but I was caught up in a drama down at the Home and didn't remember his number when I finally staggered home that night.  I'm so used to my regular drivers, who put the seat back for me, hold my bag while I belt up and shut the door that I'm unprepared for idiots like this.

I can't believe that this year I am determined to go out for my birthday, at night, in a taxi, to a restaurant. Broken leg or food poisoning, it's a toss up.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not one but two cakes.


Now this looks too nice to cut into but I'll be brave, hand me the large knife.
Regards of the very pink roses, I want a lemon chiffon sponge layered with some
kind of boozy cream.

Now Elephant's Child is having a not so good time so a nice cake will
fix that.  What better than a happy Penguin playground cake?
Absolutely nothing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Civil War grave.

Shenandoah at Williamstown, Melbourne, February, 1865.

The Shenandoah was launched from the yard of A Stephen & Sons on August 17, 1863, destined as a British troop transport, the Sea King.   A Confederate agent, James Bulloch noticed the new ship and decided it would make an excellent commerce raider.  For the other side, US agent Thomas Dudley was watching Bulloch and reported to Ambassador Charles Francis Adams about the plan.
US Secretary of State William Seward had warned the British government about allowing the Confederates to purchase ships and weapons but Bulloch knew what he was doing and not only purchased the Sea King but a tender, Laurel. The two ships rendezvoused at Funchal, Madeira Islands, the Laurel carrying guns and military stores.

The Confederate sailors converted the vessel into a warship and commissioned her as CSS Shenandoah, commanded by Lieutenant James Waddell.  The mission was to attack shipping in the sea lanes between the Cape of Good Hope and Australia and they captured six prizes en route to the Cape.
She sailed into Melbourne for repairs in January 1865. The US Consul, William Blanchard, tried to convince the Victorian governor to impound the ship and charge the crew with piracy. But with the Eureka Stockade a recent memory and the gold rush still in full swing, they were treated more like heroes. Blanchard then indicated he would protect any crew member from the Confederate ship who had joined from a captured American vessel, 8 deserted, followed by another 6 later.

When the Shenandoah left she had 42 stowaways who were signed on as crew as soon as the ship reached International waters. They all claimed to be natives of the Southern Confederacy.
The Shenandoah then turned north to find the American whaling fleet in the North Pacific, moving through the Carolines, Waddell burned four whalers and captured a fifth in the Kuriles.
Waddell learned on June 23, 1865, that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House but believing that the war was still ongoing and he continued to raid the whaling fleet.  The Shenandoah took 21 more prizes then turned south to attack commerce sailing from the West Coast to the Far East and Latin America. Waddell disrupted the whaling industry to the point where Whale oil doubled in price.

Waddell encountered a British barque on August 2nd and learned that the war had ended in April and fearing that if they were caught they'd all be hung as pirates, he ordered the guns dismantled, altered the ship to look like a trading vessel and evading American warships, sailed into Liverpool on November 6, 1865 where he surrendered the ship to British authorities. The end of the War also ended his grand plan to sail into San Francisco and hold the city to ransom.

During the year and 17 days that the Shenandoah was a commissioned warship it travelled 44,000 miles, carrying the Confederate flag around the globe and sank or captured 38 ships - all merchant vessels. She never engaged a Union Navy vessel and consequently its crew never suffered a war casualty.

As for the Australian crew, the story of their service was hushed up. After the war ended they feared prosecution for piracy for joining the Confederate sailors now regarded as  rebels.  Some never returned, some changed their names and some were buried in unmarked public graves and very few have been identified. 

This is the Walkling grave where John Henry Smith is buried, one of just five known African-American veterans of the US Civil War (1861-65) in Australia.  The grave also includes a bronze plaque supplied by the US Veterans' Department that formally recognises Smith's military service.  The restoration was due to the support of W. D. Rose Funerals, Cheltenham as well as the generosity of the Walkling family descendants, The Shenandoahs Crew Australia Inc and the Civil War Rountable Australia. 
For more information on the Shenandoah's visit to Melbourne, go here

Monday, July 15, 2013

For the mad cat lady driving the country ute.

I really could not decide, the first was so sweet and the second looked so much like Kitty.
Then I thought it might be really hard cutting and eating Kitty.
Of course you know I'm blogging cakes because I'm too lazy to do a half way decent post about something important.
One nice thing happened.  I had a very helpful lady at Medicare fixing up an account for Mum. She needed photo ID so out comes the old passport and she checks it and I explain that I am allowed to use that as I don't drive and I refuse to carry the expensive new one around.  She said that was fine, she just thought how much younger I looked now compared to then. Well, another plus for 13 years of divorce.  There is a rumour that the Mad Monk wants to make divorce harder to get. Too Late, Too Late, she cried as she danced naked under the moon in celebration.  Apologies for all those who are happily married to a lovely man that didn't crawl out from under a rock and take on the appearance of something resembling human.
And a snippet for the history buffs.  Cheltenham cemetary has discovered that there is an American Civil War Veteran buried there and pretty rare for those times, he was an African-American Vet. They are doing more research and putting up an information board near the grave. Now there's a story for "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

River wanted a cake all for herself.

 So here it is, River in all her glory on three tiers of cake.
And here's my cake of the day, a tiara, naturally.
I'm a bit behind with the cake of the day but I keep drooling while I'm searching.
I hope this is a lovely fruit cake inside and the fondant icing is thick.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

We all love Penguins

Thank you Miss O'Dyne and love Lyle's Penguins

Countdown Day 10

How better to remind myself that I'm getting older than by posting a birthday cake a day until the horrible moment actually arrives. You all can divide up the cake, I'll just take care of the shoe and the strawberries.

Monday, July 08, 2013

There's something about Penguins

These are little Gentoo Penguins and that's not swirling snow they wading through but sand.
Gentoo penguins like to set up home on rocky shores or sandy tussocks inland but with open access to the sea. 
They spend all day feeding at sea on krill or fish and occasionally squid and this lot are home on Sea Lion Island in the Falklands. They are the fastest birds underwater, swimming at speeds of up to 36 kilometres an hour.
This image won photographer Michael Lohmann runner up in the bird category of the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2013.
Use that search engine and see more of the fantastic shots taken for the competition.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

As I see the coming election

The sitting party and their new leader.

The Opposition and their old leader just keeping  his head above the public opinion of women.

The sharpest beak in the bunch but they done her in.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Call the Time Lord

Just in case you missed my pretties while I was doing daughter duties here is David Gardner's 18k
gold necklace featuring a 27.43 ct cushion cut Sphene accented with diamonds. I could wear this anytime because I've discovered the joy of magnetic clasps.

I have been slaving at the Home. They've decided to outsource the washing and everything has to be named, not by pen either.  Apparently that washes off after a couple of turns in an industrial machine. They'd like us to sew on labels. I'd like to tell them to f off and the only sew on label I've done is inside her favourite knitted jacket that I bought for $6.50 at the op-shop. Since now I've been appointed washerwoman in chief, I'll just keep using the pen.

I've just been to Southland and bought a new Television in the sales. I walked in, saleschild comes over and I ask for TV for Dummies.  Am I going to use it for a computer screen? Saleschild hides his smirk at the fact that my CPU is so old it doesn't have a dvd burner component and I still have a desktop not a laptop. I finally kill him by telling him I still use a walkman.  According to the child genius, yes, it will hook up the dvd and video player and hook into the arial I have. It looks great and when I get home I check the JBHiFi website and there are 7 fairly good reviews. I've already told the Saleschild I will come back and hurt him if things go wrong. On the way out, I go back and check that it has a remote control since I'm sick of carrying the cat across the room everytime I want to turn a channel.  A remote would remove Abbott and Rudd from my sight in a flick.

I paid for some of it and mother has paid for the rest for my birthday. My sister snipped at this but I've since found out that she's asked for a new iPhone for her birthday and she can't use the one she's got. Her grandson and my great nephew is a year old next week. I can't believe the time has gone so quickly.  I want a Time Lord to slow things down a bit.  

Now if anyone is stuck for an idea for a birthday present for me, I'd like this necklace of Akoya pearls and a 16.47ct oval Tanzanite set in 18k white gold with a diamond and sapphire surround.

And don't forget the cake, all my favourite colours and sprinkles.