Slight Turbulence

Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on. From here to the eyes and the ears of the 'verse, that's my motto. Or at least it would be, if I start having a motto.

Red Velvet Memories

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The DH sent me an email the other day. It was a recipe for Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. I figured it was either a request to bake or he wanted me to start a Pinterest board for him. It was the first one. 😉

The resulting dessert wasn’t what any of us expected. The recipe was called a “brownie.” It was really more of a cake. I’m pretty sure it was good enough though (see picture), as no one waiting the full “cool completely” amount of time before sampling.

Would I bake it again? Well, at least one more time. Mostly because I bought two packages of cream cheese and now I have an entire bottle of red food coloring. That and, well, baking red velvet brought back a flood of unexpected memories of my Grams.

One memory in particular was the last time I remember helping her make red velvet cake. It was in the winter of 2003 and we were visiting Grams and Grampa in Grand Junction, Colorado. My parents had flown in with my children and husband from Hawaii and I met them there after a work conference in Oregon. It was the first time meeting KidA and Grams wanted to “make a memory.”

I remember being surprised about her adding vinegar to her recipe (these brownies also called for vinegar). I remember helping her carry out her cherished  Kitchen Aid to whip the cream cheese, egg, and sugar (I think of her every time I set mine up). I remember KidC asking to lick the spatula (I learned from Grams to always leave extra for your “special helper”).

We made a red velvet bundt cake and sang Happy Birthday to everyone that night – for all the birthdays they has missed since we all lived so far away from each other. We made a very special memory.


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Last month, the DH got enthralled by a late night National Geographic channel series called Doomsday Preppers. The people featured all believed doomsday was approaching our world in various ways and were getting themselves ready. They planned not only to survive the devastation, but thrive in the aftermath!

Stocked with food stuffs, water, purifier kits, fuel, and of course fire arms, these preppers planned escape routes, established bug-out shelters, and hid caches of supplies. Amazing. Crazy. And yes, a little bit disturbing.

It became a running joke with our family that, not only are we ill-prepared for doomsday, our hurricane kit is nonexistent, and there are times that we’ve been so busy, our refrigerator barely has enough food to make a meal.

Well the other evening at dinner, I joked with the kids how, instead of converting the office/homeschool space downstairs into a library, with shelves lining the walls (an idea they LOVED by the way!), their dad and I were going begin stocking doomsday supplies.

I thought they’d roll their eyes, chuckle, and get the joke. Instead, they got excited and wanted in on the planning.

“Those rolling metal, wire racks from Costco would be great!”

“Don’t forget a place for containers to carry and store water!”

“What about weapons!” (Yeah, that one was from KidC. Are all boys like that?)

Don’t worry. We are NOT becoming doomsday preppers. I am however going to at least get my hurricane kit in better shape. In fact, we went to Costco (new coupons are valid now!) and I totally had that kit in mind… and then when we got to car I realized… well, we may be starving and ill-prepared to defend our home and family after doomsday, but we definitely will have a clean living space! Clorox wipes, Swifter dusters, detergent, shampoo AND conditioner, dish soap, dishwasher tablets – I’m stocked! And really, isn’t it important that we strive to maintain some semblance of civil living when economies crumble, zombies roam the streets, and the natural disasters cause global warming and polar shifts?

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Heady Conversation

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I have realized I have only a few good years left. I’m giving myself 2, maybe 3 years tops before I am regulated to conversations about weather or what new word I’ve learned via my Dictionary dot com app. And then, I’m sure they’ll simply humor my understanding of things and roll their eyes behind my back.

I’m of course talking about my children. And not in a bad way. Simply the truth. How do I know this? Well, on Saturday I had to take KidC to town to pick up a music book for his band class. After the purchase we decided to head to Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Carrying a bottle of water as we window shopped at the mall, KidI noticed the volume measurement and said, “my bottle weighs 16 FL. OZ. That would have been fine, except KidC and KidA overheard her and that prompted, a weirdly intense discussion questioning if fluid ounce was a measure of weight or a measure of volume or a measure of capacity. (I kid you not. I mean, what the heck kind of kids am I raising who discuss math at a shopping mall. Weirdos!)

Then KidA said to me, “I really have a hard time with the metric system. It confuses me.” To which I sagely replied, “Well, I’m sure if you grew up outside the U.S. you’d have no problem with it.” (You know, because I don’t want her to think she can’t understand math stuff.)

She shrugged and for some odd reason I continued speaking, “Although, in countries that use the metric system, they still count donuts by the dozen.” (Yeah, in retrospective I should have just kept my mouth shut.)

To which KidA looked at me and said, “Well, isn’t that because it’s a customary unit of measure?” Uh, wha-aat?

I vaguely recalled customary units having to do with commerce and trade in the history of our system of measurement. I frantically racked my brain to recall how and why we label things we measure. What was a customary unit? Are there non-customary units? Quick Christina, say something smart back to your child.

Nothing. My mind was empty. Boy the mall was crowded and the sun was hot…

Thankfully my distraction gave KidC just enough time to jump into the conversation and they were off again, deep in discussion about who knows what. At which point I said to KidA, “Let’s go to the Lego Store. I’ll buy you something for Children’s Day.”

Yup. 2 to 3 years tops.

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