Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Today is my mom’s birthday. Here she is as a pretty blue-eyed baby.


She was born in northeast Ohio in a rural farming area.  She enjoyed a country lifestyle of fresh air, fresh food, and lots of friends and family in the vicinity.  We are a lot more spread out geographically now but we still enjoy keeping up with our family members near and far.

My grandmother was very artistic and even the photos she took in the 1930’s were beautifully arranged and artfully timeless. I have always loved this one of my mom as a very young girl.


We fast forward to adulthood and we have a photo taken with her brother and sister at my cousin’s wedding.  They were a smart and lively trio of siblings.  Sadly, my uncle has passed away but happily my aunt continues to keep in touch even though we don’t live as close together as we used to.


My grandfather had a huge spread of rhododendron.  Some have said it was one of the largest displays in the state.  I believe it.  They were tall and showy in the spring.  In the winter they weathered the snow with grace and beauty.  My mom is posing in front of the bushes on a snowy Ohio afternoon displaying her own wintery grace and beauty.


My mom is posing in a few less layers of clothes with her dress for a high school reunion formal. She looked great and I’m sure she was the most stunning alumni there. In fact, one year she was awarded a distinguished alumni award.  Not for the dress 🙂 but for her many accomplishments in the field of education.


In this next photo my mom is standing with motion picture, television, and broadway star John Astin.  We saw him in a play in Washington, D.C.  He was a great performer and was very gracious about meeting his fans.


Finally we land on today with our birthday girl and her cake.  Many happy returns of the day!



Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup hot water

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use White Lily)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream


Fudge Frosting

7 tablespoons light cream or milk

1/3 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

6 tablespoons cocoa

dash salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  In a small bowl, combine cocoa and water; stir until smooth and set aside.  Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy.  Add granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Stir in cocoa mixture.  In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream to egg mixture mixing until just blended.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool 10 minutes and then remove cake from pans to cool on  wire racks.

Frosting – Heat cream in a small saucepan until bubbles form around edge of pan and set aside.  Beat butter in medium-sized bowl until creamy.  Stir together powdered sugar, cocoa and salt.  Add alternately with cream to butter, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla.

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One Response to Happy Birthday!

  1. Merry Carol April 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    Absolutely wonderful blog…loved every bit of it. Made me a bit poignant to see the pic of my brother and my sister, the birthday girl

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