A Couple Cookie Cakes

August 21, 2016



This weekend’s cakes were cookie cakes–just ordinary yummy chocolate chip cookies baked in a 10″ cake pan. Two of them were ordered for a college graduate’s party.

The collage illustrates the frozen buttercream reverse image technique, which I’ve used a couple times. I was quite happy with the result.


I other news, I got to Skype with Gary last night.  He seems to have pretty good internet access in Thailand.  His second workshop has started by now, so he will be busy for the next three days.


Can You Believe This Weather?!

August 20, 2016

It has rained for a solid week, and this is August. So strange! It has been a light, drizzly rain most of the time. We kinda felt like we were getting cabin fever, so last night Rachel and I and our colleague-intern Abbey decided to go to the state part for a cookout in spite of the overcast skies.

Well, that turned out to be a big fail. I did actually get the charcoal burning nicely in the chimney starter and just as I poured it into the grill, the heavens opened up. At least it was a warm rain!




Then a minute later I got a text from Laura and Isabella who were on a layover at Dallas Love field and wondering if I could pick them up in the case that their connecting flight got canceled. “Of course,” I said with foggy glasses and rain dripping off my head. Well, it turned out that their flight was delayed about 45 minutes, but not actually canceled, so no rush trip to the airport. I have to wait until Tuesday night to see them.  We packed up the wet mess, let the rain extinguish the charcoal, and packed it all back into the car.  Then we went home and cooked our food in a frying pan.

In other news, I have heard from Gary. Sounds like they are running him ragged with meetings, classes, and consultations, but he he is doing well. They have had a few power outages to deal with too.  Here is a photo of the kind of transport they are using to get to the evening meals and market.  He also reported that it is raining there too, and he’s hoping the underwear he sent out for laundry a couple days ago eventually comes back dry!


Cultured Child

August 18, 2016

I guess visiting the NY Museum of Modern Art takes the edge off being homeless.🙂



In other news,  I haven’t heard much from Gary.  I think his first workshop is already done, but lots of other meetings on the side are keeping him busy.

Here at home, I took Rachel for an eye exam on Monday that took forever because three people plus a machine all tried to figure out her glasses prescription.  She ended up with a second dilation, this time with a very strong drug, and her eyes were dilated for over 24 hours.  Besides that, a friend hasn’t been feeling well, so I’ve taken her to the Doc-in-a-Box then to the ER.  She can’t really drive, so I’m helping with that.

We’re having the oddest weather this week–cool and rainy, and this is August!  This is vacation week for Rachel, so we planned to go to the Arboretum, but it has been raining too much too much to go.  She did have a babysitting job this morning.

I’m working on a couple cookie cakes for a graduation this weekend.

OK, not much else for news.

Arrived Safely

August 15, 2016

Gary emailed me to say he has arrived safely in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And if he hadn’t I could have had a clue anyway since our bank account says someone got cash from the ATM at the Chiang Mai airport.

Rachel and I are watching Olympics, doing chores, going swimming, doing some hobbies and today she has an eye dr. appointment. She isn’t working this week. We started out for the Arboretum this morning, but it was raining (first rain in quite a while) so we turned around and I went to work instead.

A Silver Lining, at Least for Me

August 12, 2016

I am sorry that Andrew and Laura are having to go through this time of delays with closing on their house, but something good has come out of it–at least it is good from my point of view–they are coming to Dallas for a visit!

They needed to come to Dallas some time or another anyway to sort out the stuff they have in storage in Rachel’s house, so when they compared the cost of hotels in NYC vs. airfares to Dallas, it seemed like a good enough time to come sort through their things. And they aren’t just coming to Dallas–Andrew will first go to Indiana, then back to NYC for orientation at his new job, finally landing in Dallas the same day Gary arrives home from Thailand. Laura and Isabella will first go to California, then come to Dallas and will be here before Andrew arrives. Of course we are happy to see them and get to spend some time with Isabella.

In other news, if you’ve heard about the bombings in Thailand yesterday, our local colleague familiar with the country says that this particular situation involves a long-standing dispute with factions in the south of the country, and shouldn’t be a problem for Bangkok and Chiang Mai where Gary and team will be.


And in even other news, if it can be called that, it has been a hard week for my feet. I’ve had three different pairs of old faithful shoes give out on me this week. Shoe shopping isn’t quite as bad as swimsuit shopping, but…

No House Yet

August 11, 2016

Andrew and Laura are disappointed to learn that their house closing has been delayed once again, now scheduled for Aug. 31. I won’t go into all the details, but the domino effect is manifesting itself in registering Isabella for school, scheduling the moving van, paying for a storage unit for another month, and yes, being homeless after Aug 17. I’m praying that God will give them grace and peace in spite of these hardships. Andrew must be at orientation for his new job on Aug 25.

Speaking of Isabella, I now have visual proof that at least someone reads our newsletters!🙂


And speaking of grandkids, Maureen is holding “Nana Camp” for Micah and Emma this week. Here is a terrific photo she sent of Micah after a 2-mile hike.  Doesn’t he look so grown up here??


Rachel joined a group of ladies from her church yesterday to work at a homeless shelter downtown.  Tomorrow she plans to join another group who are helping some school teachers get their classrooms ready for the opening of the new school year.  She isn’t working for money very many hours, but at least she is doing some good things with her free time.  We keep hoping she will find some babysitting or similar hours of work.

More Cake

August 7, 2016

13892373_10101957372137594_1669278439942426075_nThis was a two cake weekend. In fact, two baby shower cakes. All my friends are having grandbabies!

Here is a link to try:  https://goo.gl/photos/5wxmXt8mQ5zk3ub17

If it works, you’ll see today’s cake–a small Rubber Ducky cake for Kristyn Mannoia–and my old Picasa album of all the cakes I’ve made (well, all the ones I took photos of, that is).

That brings up my latest gripe with Google.  Picasa Web Albums no longer exist, at least not in the form we’ve grown used to.  That means that all the blogs I’ve made over the years with links to Picasa Web Albums no longer work.  I’m being encouraged to move to Google Photos, but it is an experience tailored for casual cell phone photos, not carefully edited photos taken with a purpose.

In other news, I forgot to mention that David and family recently attended the 4oth meeting of the Christian Ophthalmology Society which was being held in Portland this year.  He said he was giving a 6-minute speech about an interesting case.  There were also activities for spouses and children, so that was nice.

In other news, Gary and the rest of the Ethnologue team leave for Chiang Mai, Thailand on Saturday and will be gone 2 weeks.  And I don’t expect Gary to get much work done before leaving because he is glued to the TV to watch all the Olympics going on.


August 6, 2016

Well, I’m not keeping up with this blog very well, it seems. Maybe it’s the weather–ugh, it is HOT. Hot and dry. Of course, this is August in Texas, so what do I expect? Our air conditioner cannot keep up after about 4:30 until sometime during the night.

Here is today’s cake, for a baby shower for a friend. (Tomorrow there should be another one for another baby shower.)





I talked to both of the boys this week.  David has started his new fellowship and says he is back in student mode and can’t have his own surgeries yet.  Andrew is not especially happy because the closing on their house got postponed for various reasons and it looks as though it might be postponed again.  They are frustrated with the delays instead of being happy they get to own a home.  Not much new with Rachel except that she found a pay check from last March that she had lost in her desk, so she got paid extra this week (sorta).

I was able to get a quite decent video of a pair of Painted Buntings getting a drink in the back yard this week.  I posted this video on a Facebook bird page and got over 200 likes!  :-)  It is less than one minute long  and best viewed in full-screen mode since these birds are pretty little!

Goodbye, Launa

July 28, 2016

We said goodbye to Launa Davis this past Tuesday afternoon. There was a well-attended memorial service for her in the Activity Center. They had put together a wonderful slideshow of photos from her 90-year old life. It was good to greet their 4 children there.  As the photos below show, I made the cake for her 90th birthday party last December.  And if you are old enough, you might remember the last photo from 40+ years ago.



Simons wedding with Davis family

My Biggest Cake Order So Far

July 24, 2016

DSC01056It has been a long day, even though it is Sunday. We just got home from a quite fancy wedding held at the Hickory Street Annex in downtown Dallas, an old Gulf Oil building that has been beautifully repurposed. The bride is a former Wycliffe member and had asked me to make her wedding cake.


It wasn’t just a wedding cake for 200, it was also specialty cookies for 200 (and throw in a few gluten-free cupcakes, too!).  If you are interested in seeing how I made the cookies, look at this link.

This was the first time I had ever done a 12″ diameter round cake.  I think it ended up almost like the bride specified, not exactly, but close enough.  I won’t bore you with step by step cake construction because I’ve done that in the past, but here are some shots showing how we got the cake parts to the wedding (don’t forget it is 100 degrees here these days!), assembled it, then attended the wedding.  The cake wasn’t cut until 3:30pm after an 11am wedding, so it was a long day.  The party was still underway when we left with a Korean ceremony on the side.










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