Friday, September 19, 2008

I Killed the Cake

Yesterday was my son, Max’s 20th birthday.

He wanted a "killer cake," so I agreed to the deed.

Boy, did I ever kill the cake. But it still tasted good. And, he didn’t seem to mind too much.

Well, any cake pans I had disappeared long ago.. so I geared up and bought two new, beautiful non-stick ones (instead of the flimsy, throw-away aluminum ones).

I found and cleaned up the old hand-mixer (Wow, it still worked!) and actually found two mixer-beater-thingies that matched.

But, I realized as I started the process, I forgot to buy the chocolate pudding mix to throw in the batter.

“That’s okay,” Max smiled smugly, “just add extra stick of butter. That’s what Hunni would have done.”

So I did.

It smelled wonderful, but the concoction rose only about a quarter inch. “Oh well, so it’ll look funny, it’ll be all right,” I thought.

I took the pans out of the oven and let the beasties cool.

When it came time to do the building, Max standing ready to assist, flipped one pan over neatly on a plate; the cake dropped right out.

With my pan, I cleanly lifted the flattened cake out with my fingers. It was firm and flat. I made a flipping gesture with it at Max.

Chocolate cakes do not for good Frisbees make.

The cake, just a little too heavy for such a maneuver, broke into pieces and hit the floor.

The clean-up crew was there in a flash, but I held them back and quickly picked up the chunks to salvage what I could.

Of course, both Roxzi and Max EWWWWed and shouted, they weren’t gonna eat that!

Don’t blame ‘em, really.

I let the dogs vacuum up the rest.

Max quickly frosted the remaining disc and decorated it with the traditional chopped up Peanut Butter M&Ms. He was just a little anxious.

Then, to top things off, the fact that between daughter Roxzi and I, we could not for the life of us find a single birthday candle.. or anything of a waxy nature to suffice.

Good ole Max (my genius son) came through with a... wooden match.

Needless to say, we sang very quickly.

Yes, my mother was the cake maker of the family (along with being the story keeper, and since her passing, I’ve feebly attempted to follow her lead, but my passion for cooking is not as great as hers. I always have to look up a poem I wrote shortly after her crossing, To Kill a Cake, to try to remember how to make her famous delicacy, what she dubbed, “Killer Cake.”

The poem pretty much tells the tale… (thank goodness I like to write, or there’d be nothing!)

To Kill a Cake
Quizmo LaGrande

My dear mother, Hunni, passed away
To other realms, in heaven’s stay.
And with the Love, she took her best
Cake recipe; would you have guessed?

The grandchildren loved to assist
Her mix and stir, they knew the list.
"Secret" ingredients to make a treat
The likes of which all cared to eat.

Thus “Killer Cake” came of fame,
"To die for!" was my Mother’s claim.
Every birthday, fall or spring,
For “Killer Cake” the kids would sing.

Alas, dear Hunni’s gone away,
And with her, “Killer Cake,” I say.
No one could match the way she’d make
That luscious mound, for heaven’s sake!

Of oldest daughter, I did inquire,
For her birthday, what she’d desire?
She looked at me with saddened eyes,
“Killer Cake,” her small reply.

I shook my head, “Uh-uh, not I!
“I can bake a cookie, or a pie
“But cakes were Hunni’s, understand?
"Your wish is not of my command.”

She thought a moment, then she said,
“You can do it!” and bobbed her head.
“Yes, we will help, make no mistake,
"We know how she would make the cake!”

I bought the strange ingredients
And took them home obedient.
“She never followed the directions!”
The kids regaled in recollection.

“An extra egg? A tub of… THAT?”
“Yep! Taste to see it’s thick and fat,”
Turn the oven to five hundred!”
How will this ever work? I wondered.

“Don’t set the timer, just won’t do,
We wait until the thing smells through.
“Mix the frosting while we wait,
with pudding, cream cheese, ain’t it great!”

I figured burning cake and house
Would bring cute firemen to douse
The flames of home and cooking passion
And dreams of birthdays, Hunni fashion.

But soon a smell came wafting through
A chocolate glow, so rich and true;
“The knife will never come out clean!"
A secret to her cake cuisine.

“It’s time, it’s done!” the children yell.
I shook my head, “How can you tell?”
“It’s her way,” they dance and croon
“Believe us! Can we lick the spoon?”

In all, approval took a stand,
“You did it, Mom! It turned out grand!
"We thought you’d kill it, make it dead…
"A treat To die for! you baked instead!”

The moral: cooperation bakes the cake,
With death there's no reason to forsake
Matriarchal cooking passion,
And dreams of birthdays, Hunni fashion.

© Copyright 2002 Quizmo LaGrande. All rights reserved.

Happy Birthday, Max!

~ * ~

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Contemplating one’s navel is what first comes to mind.

Contemplating one’s goals and future achievements is another.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating the lines in my palms.

Yes, that’s right, the lines in my palms and my fingerprints. Fascinating stuff, really.

Did you know that your fingerprints are formed when you are a mere 14-weeks in the fetal stage, and that they NEVER change for your whole entire lifetime? Quite true.

The lines in your palms, on the other hand (is there a pun there?), can, will, and do change. For instance, a very good girlfriend of mine thirty years ago, a brilliant artist, had a very prominent Apollo star under her ring finger (known as the Apollo finger) on her right hand. Now, always being interested in all forms of metaphysics, astrology, tarot, etc., I knew that this asterisk formation mean successful artist, or success in the arts. Considering myself an artist at the time (and I still do), I certainly checked my hands for such an esteemed gift; alas, there was none.

But now, probably appearing in the last few years (without my noticing), is a huge Apollo star on my left hand, the family hand (as I am right handed). The right (or dominant) hand is the business hand.

According to this “gift” marking, I need to be a “star in the spotlight.” Scary. Very, very scary for me.

My other gift markers are “healer” (a series of four or more vertical lines directly under the pinky) and “lines of genius” (three or more vertical lines on the upper section of the pinky), Moon stars—intuition (asterisks on the Lunar mound, the fleshy part on the side of the hand under the pinky), and Neptune stars on the bottom center of the palm, near the wrist (I don’t know much about yet, but I’ll find out more later today).

Our hands, the lines, the mounds, the prints the color and shape, are all a roadmap of our lives. It maps where we need to go; what we are destined to do. It’s quite remarkable.

This is NOT what many think of as traditional palmistry. It’s not predictive… “You will have umpteen children and die at the age of 92.“ Nope, it’s not like that at all. But the methods of “hand analysis” are scientifically proven. Your fingerprints tell the basics for your life, the lines give the details of what’s happening now.

My teacher is Beth Davis. I saw speak at the first Bridging Heart and Marketing Conference last February. I was obviously impressed. You can visit her website through my affiliate link, Beth Davis the Hand Analyst. There are some terrific articles and interviews.

Richard Unger,, is also very impressive. Lots of good info about reading your fingerprints.

I’ll try to keep you abreast of my learning as I go along.

I’ve studied palmistry before, and now I find that I have to do quite a bit of unlearning. For instance, the “life” line, is not an indicator of how long your life will be, the length, in this case, is insignificant. It shows how well you live your life.

So, till next time, I’ll just sit here contemplating my fingertips and try to figure out what makes them flow, and lingering over the lines while lusting to figure out what makes me go!

If your happy and you know it, clap your hands...


Monday, September 15, 2008


Where does it come from? Where does it go?

I had an inspiration this morning.

Early this morning.

An inspiration to write about the wonder of me. I didn’t get out of bed and do it, and now wish I did because that wonderment, that moment of being “in spirit” has gone.

I will admit, I’m still me, I’m just curious what splendid thing I was thinking about at the time was so great?

Perhaps this new moment of “in spirit” inspiration is even better.

I went to a conference this past weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) called Bridging Heart and Marketing hosted by my friends and favorites, Judith and Jim.

Drs. Judith and Jim are relationship experts that have broadened their scope from personal one-on-one relationships, dating, marital and alike, to marketing the magnificence of oneself, which they call “Soft Sell Marketing.”

It was a marvelous event! The venue, the Ayres Hotel in Manhattan Beach, CA, was superb—quaint in a large-enough way to support the 100-plus guests and attendees. It’s right off the 405 freeway, so very easy to get to, and from.

I regret, in a way, that I missed Saturday. But I really wanted to see my brilliant, lovely daughter and her handsome, equally brilliant, new husband before they launched themselves into a new adventure and a new life in a new land, Tacoma, Washington Land, Fort Lewis Land. They are excited, and so ready to venture forth. I admire them to the utmost! (Another post.)

I loved every moment of the conference (when I was able to be there). So many beautiful, high-minded people! Each one unique and entertaining in themselves. All entrepreneurs venturing out into giving the world what they “love” to do, and what they know best.

Thank you so much, Judith and Jim for such a great get-together! You are truly inspirational.

You can check them out at Judith&

Inspiration comes in so many forms, from so many places. It's our job to recognize it and follow through with action.

Now, what was it I wanted to write about this morning?

Oh well. Next time.