Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day and The Cake

Another Mother’s Day is behind us. My wife tells me it was a good day for her. Our daughter came over and spent part of the day here, but they didn’t do much work outside. As I mentioned over the weekend, my wife and I don’t give each other presents on our respective days, but our daughter did exactly what we thought she would.

She brought her mother a cake nice cake for a holiday celebration and she gave her a sort of promissory note to take her out midweek to a florist and let her mother pick out some flowers and other plants. Of course she also brought herself and her dog. Our son called his mother from the West Coast to wish her a happy day.

Many people like to go to restaurants to give Mom a day off from cooking. We stayed home and our daughter did the grilling. She is an excellent cook on the grill and actually does most of it for our family. Following that excellent meal, it was I who did the clean up chores. Momma Gator could enjoy her day without any chores.

Speaking of cake, I can tell a little story on me. We aren’t too much into desserts in our family and generally only have them on holidays or other special occasions. MG had mentioned a couple of times last week that she thought some dessert might taste good for a change. Even though I knew we probably would have some cake for Mother’s Day, I decided to give MG a treat.

While she was at her part time job Friday, I looked through our food closet and found a box of cake mix. I figured I could handle that and so the process began. I read the instructions very carefully on the box and followed them to the letter. A half hour later or so two beautiful round pans of slightly less than one inch thick cake came out of the oven. I must say they really looked good in spite of their thickness.

After the suggested cooling time, I turned the pans over and they just glided out. I put them on a wire rack for final cooling and then the thought slammed into my head. I have absolutely zero idea how to make an icing. I checked. There wasn’t a box of frosting mix in the food closet. Well, I made the cake; MG wouldn’t mind finishing it off. I hoped.

She got home shortly after two and immediately spotted the cake parts. I humbly mentioned the frosting bit and all she could ask was, “Where’d you get the mix? I didn’t think we had any in the house.” She looked at the box. I guess it had been hidden in that closet for a while. It had expired three years ago.

The cake went into the disposal. I tried, but we didn’t have any dessert Friday night. Maybe she just didn’t want to make the frosting.

This should be the week the People’s Veto of a massive tax increase the Legislature passed in the waning hours of the last legislative session gets underway. The final question and approved petitions are expected from the Secretary of State’s office. Organizers must collect about 60-thousand signatures in a month and a half to have the veto question on the November ballot.

There actually are three petitions being sought. One nullifies the tax increase designed to raise about 70 million dollars for the state’s failing health plan, DirigoChoice. Another seeks to nullify the insurance plan itself. And the third wants to nullify the Real I.D. law, also passed in the final moments of the session. A slight difference among the three, though, is that the tax on just about all beverages and insurance claims was passed without any public input of any kind. The insurance plan itself has been failing for three years. And the Real I.D. bill had full public and open legislative input.

Speaking of final session surprises, the Legislature also passed a bill authorizing the state to borrow 30-million dollars from the Federal Government to extend passenger rail service from Portland to Brunswick. I’m wondering if that bill doesn’t also force the State to give operating funding to the Downeaster Amtrak train. Officials of the Downeaster say they will be out of business if they don’t get the state funding and that would leave the Brunswick connection without Amtrak, too. Interesting events. And it happened in the final moments of the session.

So even with the Legislature now adjourned until next December with newly elected members, it has left behind a very expensive legacy for which Mainers will be paying for a long time to come. And it left behind good fodder for bloggers.


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