Miss Marple's Old Fashioned Seed Cake
& a Thank You

Miss Marple's old fashioned seed cake is perfect for a tea party or anytime.
 You just have to try it.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks (save the whites!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup plain yogurt ( in place of milk for a creamy cake)
  • 5 egg whites
Butter and flour a bundt pan. Cream the butter and the sugar together then add in your eggs and the vanilla. Mix up well.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Now you will add this mixture to the batter alternating with a bit of yogurt and mixing as you go.
Now add in the poppy seeds and mix until distributed through.
Beat the five egg whites until they form soft peaks. Not stiff peaks. Make sure your bowl is cold before beating the whites, this helps.
Fold the whites into the mixture gently and try not to overwork the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the Bundt pan and place in a 350ºF oven.  Bake for about 40 minutes but check at 30 mins.  Top of the cake should be firm
 A cake tester inserted into the cake should come out clean.
You can dust the top of the cake with powdered(confectioner's) sugar.
If you use a doily as a template you can dust on a pretty pattern.

I would like to thank everyone for their lovely comments on the passing of my dear furry friend. He is missed more than I can say. He was a constant daily companion for a long time.  Your words are treasured in my heart. Thank you dear friends. I am so grateful for all of you.

Sleep Well Dear Friend

My dear little guy Garfield passed away  tonight.
"the little golden man"
 Sept 1995-May 31, 2015
 He was in his 20th year and I have lost a good chunk of my heart with his passing.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing..." Job
 He was an extraordinary personality and everyone remarked about it. Garfield was not aloof at all as cats can be but personable, loving and sweet. He loved people.
 He stayed near me all the time and when I was away for surgery and then away for physical therapy he developed an ulcer worrying about me because I was gone for a month.
 His chair was next to mine in my office.  He sat sweetly as I said the blessing before our meal and the grace after meals and waited with me until I was done.
 Garfield was born in the bottom drawer of my old dresser along with his brothers and sisters all of which were adopted out except for him and his brother Sandy. Sandy passed on a few years ago.
How I will miss his sweet voice greeting me and seeing his joy at sitting in the sliding glass window to soak in the sun.
No more fun as he would carpet surf from room to room. Getting up speed he would slide thru the house from one throw rug to the next. It was so much fun and I will deeply miss his cute performances.
 I have not been blogging much as he has been failing for a few weeks now and for the last few days refused food and then water.
Tonight he walked to his litter box and tried to go, but he couldn't. Mr. neat and clean to the end.  He never made messes ever even when dying!
He walked back to the hallway and fell over and breathed his last.
 I cannot  thank God enough for his life as it was a huge blessing to me and a great mercy that He shared his tiny servant with me.

It's Raining at the Bay

Rain, but no thunder storm.

I have missed the sound of thunder approaching from the distance.  It makes only rare appearances in winter.
It comes rolling along the sky like a bowling ball.

The bay puts on a gray face when it rains reflecting the color of the sky and clouds creating a sad, somber look.
Inside Garfield and I are warm and cozy , he in his fluffy comforter bed and I at my computer sipping creamy coffee.
All you can hear is the steady drumming of rain on water and the chimes that sing in the light breeze.
I bought some handmade chimes for 'a song' at Home Goods.
How sweet the sound.
There are sounds I so enjoy like chimes, gulls, waves, breezes through the trees, rolling distant thunder... lovely.

Are there sounds you like to hear? 

Blankets & Beavers

A little while ago I made this full size bed afghan for the Famous Anonymous.
I had begun one all in pink for her little sister but never got it finished because I had to get surgery on my spine.
I have still not been working on it.
 So, I gave the little another one that I had made in two complimentary shades of pink in the same style as this one, long ago.
I had wanted to finish the newer one and give it to her, but the one she got (which was not new) is now too loved to be set aside and gets used every night.

The famous anonymous kid also uses hers every single night  as well as one I had made for her when she was a brand new baby.
 Isn't it great to see the things you make appreciated?

I had a run in with Mr. Beaver this morning.
I open the sliding glass doors in the kitchen to let the cat (21 years old this year) sit in the sun and get fresh air.
Suddenly Mr. Beaver came ambling across the outside step, not noticing us at all.
Now, Mr. Beaver is not a beaver at all but a ground hog who lives under the back shed. He was named Mr. Beaver by my daughter who had a chance encounter with him when she was in the 7th grade.
She attended a religious school and got home a bit later than the other kids in the neighborhood. She would come in the back door.
One day she ran into Mr. Beaver(probably an ancestor of this one) who was eating left over Ziti from the garbage can. 
His face was covered in tomato sauce. He screamed...she screamed, they ran in different directions and he ended up being called Mr. Beaver.
"A huge beaver just tried to attack me . He was eating Ziti!"
At one point there were babies and they would romp in the backyard..so cute and cuddly looking.
This morning was the first time I have seen him/her in a while.


Tuesday afternoon by the ocean.
88° F  wave height: 3 feet, calm.  

Morning by the Water

Spring is now in full swing and temperatures are climbing.
Here is an early morning view of the bay.

Bartolomeo Cristofori and the Piano

Thank you for inventing the piano, the grande old lady of music, who, next to the pipe organ is the most beautiful instrument ever! I love my piano and don't know what I would do without it.
Bartolomeo Cristofori was born in the Republic of Venice in Padua and was an instrument maker to the De Medici family.     He is credited with inventing the piano.
What an invention!
From Wikipedia:
 Probably the most important event in Cristofori's life is the first one of which we have any record: in 1688, at age 33, he was recruited to work for Prince Ferdinando de Medici. Ferdinando, a lover and patron of music, was the son and heir of Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Tuscany was at a time still a small independent state.

It is not known what led Ferdinando to recruit Cristofori. The Prince traveled to Venice in 1688 to attend the Carnival, so he may have met Cristofori passing through Padua on his way home. Ferdinando was looking for a new technician to take care of his many musical instruments, the previous incumbent having just died. However, it seems possible that the Prince wanted to hire Cristofori not just as his technician, but specifically as an innovator in musical instruments. It would be surprising if Cristofori at age 33 had not already shown the inventiveness for which he later became famous.

I have a little baby grand that has gotten a lot of use.
My grandmother was a piano teacher and professional organist who played for many organizations and religions.
 It helped keep her family going during the depression when jobs for women were hard to     come by.
Now both the little and the famous anonymous are playing.
I began to imitate my grandmother on the piano, an upright grand, at 3.
Famous anonymous kid has been playing now for 10 years and the Little began at age 6.
Both my mother and father also played piano .
Do you play piano or another musical instrument?
I would love to hear about it.                                

And then......

And after they returned from Italy, they did this:

The video was made by Popcorn Park Zoo in Ocean County, New Jersey a place of compassion and hope for animals without homes. They have all kinds from dogs to African lions! They were so happy that a family wanted to adopt these brothers who seemed un-adoptable.
After Daisy passed away there was a hole in everyone's heart. No one can replace anyone else. When my oldest child passed away people told me I could always have more kids. Well, I did have more kids but they don't replace children you have lost. People mean well. They are trying to comfort you as best they can in a bad situation. But you cannot replace one person with another. You cannot replace pets with any other animal either since every being has their own personality. All living things are unique and irreplaceable. But love is something you cannot have enough of and it is something meant to share. The boys are very sweet and gentle and very welcome.