Sunday, December 13, 2009

Me and plastic surgery...not so much.

About the same time I received my AARP card bookoo years ago I also started receiving invitations to plastic surgery seminars. For the first few years I gave them a glance and pitched them in the trash. However, this past year they have started to hold my interest...especially the ones that include a nice lunch or dinner. My friend Rebecca and I received another invitation this week that included lunch at an especially nice restaurant that we have been wanting to try so we decided what the heck, we are curious AND hungry so let's see what they have to say. Somewhere along lifes pathway Rebecca has developed a turkey neck and not only are my eyes sliding off my face but I have grown bat wings. You know...bat wings? That is what slaps you in the face when you are brushing your teeth. Rebecca and I arrived early and sat in the parking lot to survey the other attendees just to make sure we weren't the oldest saggiest people. Well honey, after about five minutes of people watching we were starting to feel like Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley in their heyday. Boy howdy, there was a whole lotta loose skin heading towards that meeting room. We registered and choose our seats carefully. Close enough to see but far enough away that we could still make fun of people without causing too much of a scene. It didn't take long for the entertainment to start. This sweet lady who appeared to be about 93 sat next to me and we all introduced ourselves. After chatting for awhile she announced that she is 64 which made me want to whip out my mirror as that old crone is only four years older than me! She also told us that she had just paid $4,000 for a non-surgical face lift and Rebecca and I were speechless. I know, hard to believe. My hand to God that woman's face looked like a piece of crumpled paper. Rebecca recovered first and asked her what type of procedure she had done and she told us it involved a peel, moisturizers and heat. Unfortunately I recovered my sense of speech at that time and before my good manners could kick in I said, "Well, how about next time I slather you with Vicks, throw a heating pad on your face and I'll only charge you $2,000." It was right about then that Rebecca's foot connected with my shin. It hurt too. We had a lovely lunch met several very interesting people and I came to the conclusion that until they come up with a way to put a knob on the back of my head that I can turn to tighten everything up I am content with my well earned wrinkles and bat wings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bacardi Rum Cake, or as Avery calls it...

"Grandma! Why does your cake burn my mouth!" No, I am not in the habit of giving alcohol to children and when I make a rum cake I have a regular cake or cookies on hand for the kids. However, this was Christmas Day when the kitchen was full of people and Avery happened to get the wrong cake...but boy howdy, she sure took a good nap! Oh I'm kidding but it is a good idea. This is the original Bacardi Rum Cake recipe that I have been making since the 70's and I think it's the most moist cake I've ever eaten. It ships well and is even better the second or third day if you are lucky enough to have any left over. Enjoy!

1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Box Cake Mix-18 1/2 oz (Yellow or Butter Pecan)
1 Box Instant Pudding-4 oz (Vanilla or Butterscotch)
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Cold Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Bacardi Dark Rum

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan liberally with Pam. Sprinkle nuts on the bottom of the pan. Combine all cake ingredients and mix on high for two minutes. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour.

1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Bacardi Dark Rum

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for five minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. The rum will steam so be careful!
Pierce the hot cake (still in the pan) with a wooden skewer and slowly pour glaze over cake. Allow cake to cool in pan to absorb the glaze. After cake has cooled invert pan onto cake plate and prepare to receive many compliments.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We lost a member of the family.

Oh, we knew the day was coming because no matter how much we wish it wasn't true... ponies do not live forever. Well, our heads know they don't live forever but our hearts counted on a different outcome. Cocoa was twenty-seven when he joined our family twelve years ago and we couldn't have asked for a sweeter or more patient pony. Tory was all of three years old the first time she and Cocoa met and it wasn't long before they were quite the couple. If you have spent any time around ponies you already know 99.9% of them are mean as a snake but Cocoa apparently didn't know he was supposed to be disagreeable. Katy was next in line for Cocoa and while I don't know this for a fact I am willing to bet Cocoa was very pleased when Miss Kate advanced to a horse. We love Kate but she has one speed and it's wide open. Poor ole Cocoa was more of a moseyier than a trotter and Kate wants no part of mosey. Picture Danika Kirkpatrick on horseback and that's our Kate. Then we have Sarah Elizabeth...the jumper. Coco's legs were not exactly long but Sarah was determined to make Coco a jumper and jump he did. OK, it was only the dry stream bed in the pasture but bless Cocoa's heart he gave it his all and made one little girl very proud when he managed to clear that ditch. Sarah is six years older than Matthew so Cocoa had a well deserved break before he was back in the riding business with one determined little boy who still has no idea he isn't just as big as his older sisters. Matthew is six and not quite ready for a horse but it was becoming obvious over the past few months that Cocoa was feeling his age. Instead of working to keep Cocoa's weight down it became a battle to keep his weight from dropping. Cocoa's feet started to bother him and the farrier suggested orthopedic shoes. They helped but you could tell they didn't solve the problem. Polly said as much as those shoes cost they should have been Manolo Blahnik strappy sandals but I think they were just regular old horse shoes with extra support. This fall Cocoa's weight continued to drop and Polly put him in a pen by himself so he wouldn't have to compete for his food but even that didn't help and Cocoa continued to go downhill. On a cold, windy Sunday morning Polly went out to check on Cocoa before they left for church. He ate a small amount of grain from her hand but it was obvious he was in pain and exhausted. Polly went inside to tell Tony it was time and please ask the vet to come out in the morning. After church Polly, Tony and all four kids bundled up to go back out to the barn and say their goodbyes to Cocoa but it was too late. Like all true gentlemen Cocoa knew when it was time to make his exit and he had passed away peacefully shortly after Polly's early morning visit. Polly was so thankful she had taken the time to scratch Cocoa's ears and feed him his favorite treat that one last time. Cocoa is buried at the ranch which is just as it should be because he is family and families should be together.