Thursday, December 13, 2007


They're shutting us off! I opened up a notice from the water company which states that our payment is late and so they're shutting us off December 26. (How nice of them to let us have water for Christmas.)

I figured that I must have forgotten to send them a check. (Yes, I still pay my bills with paper checks.) I grabbed my checkbook and wrote out a check. It wasn't until I went to record the check that I saw that I had just sent them a check on November 28. The notice was dated December 10. I know that companies sometimes send out statements that don't have the most recent payments credited to the account yet. I called the water company. The woman said they haven't received anything since my previous bill back in September. She said that she would note my call in her computer. She suggested I call my bank and then call back.

It's a Thursday night. I bank with the local hometown bank. I'll have to wait until morning before I can talk to anyone. But they do have online banking (I just don't use it to pay my bills), so I went online to see if the check had posted. It hadn't. Funny thing though. I wrote four checks on November 28. Three of them posted on December 3. The last one is still missing. I don't know where it could be.

I'm not sure if I should stop the check or not. That will cost $30. If I don't pay, then it will cost $41.65 to reconnect plus the overdue amount. We'll be gone to California for a week. We won't need water while we're gone. We also won't be using any during that time either. That would almost make it worthwhile to not pay the water bill. However, the mark on my credit would not be worth it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Mom decorated cakes when I was little, but I never learned how. I tried, but I wasn't very good at it controlling the flow of the icing out of the bag. It was too frustrating.

But something made me want to try. Or perhaps I should say someone. Tomorrow is Samantha's birthday party. I decided to make her cake rather than buy one. Very scary thought. I went to the store and bought a cake decorating set that came with some tips, couplers, bags and icing color. I also picked up a beginner's guide that included pictures and directions for several basic cakes.

I've baked many cakes, but somehow I never made the icing. I guess it's because the stuff in the tub is so much easier. Mom always made her own from scratch. There were points during the process when I wondered whether I was doing it right. The directions said to mix in all the powdered sugar into the shortening before adding the water, so that's what I did. It went from a stiff paste to a wet gloopy mess. I don't remember mom's icing ever looking like that. I kept beating it and eventually it turned light and fluffy.

For my first cake, I don't think it looks too bad. What do you think? As you can see, I'm a bit of a minimalist. I could have kept going with the flowers, but I reached this point and the little voice in my head said that the cake was done. I did a white zigzag with pink dots at the base of the cake. The top edge has white stars. The little pink drop flowers have a white center and green stem.