Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Afternoon with Hazel Nina

If you are a mother, you will remember that there were never two days alike when your kids were little. And it is the same with grandchildren. There is no typical day. I thought it would be fun to occasionally document our days of taking care of Hazel Nina. 

Today she was at the house for about five hours, from 11 to 4. She hadn’t really napped, so by 11.30 she was getting tired. Brought her upstairs and she soon fell asleep. We have a second-hand crib in the bedroom and here she is after she woke up, about 45 minutes later. She can’t stand up by herself yet, but could support herself, with Tom’s hand behind her in case she lost her balance.

Then she came downstairs, and Tom fed her while she sat on my lap. I don’t remember doing this much with my kids, but I wish I had. They mostly sat in high chairs to eat. This is delightful for her and for us. She has been eating a new product from when my kids were little, called Ella's Kitchen

After she ate, Tom put her in the Snugli for a while, 

and then I took her 

so he could work a bit on the new fence. I walked around with her for probably 1 1/2 hours. She is interested in every single thing right now, and it is so much fun to just talk away, telling her about trees and flowers and chickens. She loved watching Tom hammer. She loved looking at the tractor. We went out to the plum tree and lo and behold, there was a ripe one. Tom took a bite, and then I rubbed my finger on it and let Hazel lick it. She loved the taste. 

Then we came in and she spent over half an hour in the playpen.

Yesterday, Margaret and Matthew brought her to the hospital where she was born for a check up. She is doing marvelously. She goes back every few months to have things checked, and every time she has been, as Margaret says, ‘a rockstar.’ I still shed tears of joy every day over this miracle baby. 

And then, it was time to go home. The hours fly by. I think the big difference I’m noticing between being a mother of a baby and a grandmother of a baby is that my mind is never divided. When my children were babies I also had to make supper, shop, clean, etc. etc. - all the things one must do in life. As a grandmother, it doesn’t matter so much if I get anything else done or not. When I'm with her, she is all I think about. Very Zen. I now understand how fast the time goes, and I don't want to miss a single minute.

You may have noticed the cane. Well, when I was 15 I was in a car accident and broke my femur. In those days, that meant a 3 month stay in the hospital, and then crutches and later a cane at home. Ever since then I have had periods of trouble with my knee, and now that I’m older it is more of a problem. I have no desire for an operation, and am doing fine with the cane. My life is pretty quiet, and I’m not an athlete, so it really isn’t a big deal. Hazel is fascinated by it and tries to put it in her mouth as she does everything these days. Campbell Walker is too young to notice it yet.

So, there you are. An afternoon with Hazel Nina. As Tom said at the end of the day, ‘it just doesn’t get better than this!’ 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A thank you note to my readers!

I want to say thank you to each of my readers for still coming to read my very infrequent letters, and for your patience and understanding when I don't get to visit your blogs as often as I used to. You all know the reasons: 

We take care of Hazel Nina each week Tuesday-Friday while Margaret works, and we see Campbell Walker as often as possible. I am full of letter ideas but simply do not have the time (and energy some days!) to post them. I think of each one of my blogging friends often and try to keep up with your lives, and I so appreciate you coming by here. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Today's picture/taking my youth...

... and putting it on a Kleenex box. Really?

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Year of Afternoon Gardens - August

Oh, how beautiful the daylilies are! They are the stars all through July and into August.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's picture/Hush Little Baby daylily

We planted three Hush Little Baby daylilies last September in anticipation of the babies to come, and they've just blossomed. We will keep one, and give the others to our children. Such a beautiful name for such a beautiful flower.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wellesley Fudge Cake circa 1898

I got this recipe off a Baker's chocolate bar probably 35 years ago. I haven't made it for ages, but did so for Margaret's 32nd birthday (yesterday) cake. It is really rich and delicious!

Wellesley Fudge Cake  circa 1898

4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet) 4 squares = 4 ounces
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk

Heat chocolate with hot water over very low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth.
Add 1/2 cup sugar. Cook and stir another 2 minutes.
Cool to lukewarm and add vanilla.

Sift flour, soda, and salt.

Cream butter (I used KitchenAid mixer)
Gradually beat in the sugar until fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Add flour mixture and milk alternately.
Blend in chocolate mixture.

Pour into 2 greased 9-inch layer pans. I used 9x13 inch pan.
Bake in preheated 350º oven for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tests done.
Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan (only if you are using the 9-inch pans - otherwise just leave in the 9x13)

When cool, frost with:
Classic Fudge Frosting

Melt 4 squares chocolate (again, I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet because it is what I had in the house) with 2 Tablespoons butter over very low heat.
Combine 4 cups unsifted confectioners sugar, a dash of salt, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Add cooled chocolate mixture. Blend well.
Spread over cake.

Hazel Nina had a lick of frosting - her first family birthday party since she was born

And she wouldn't have minded a little more as she stares at someone's plate