Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No progress to report, EXCEPT...

I had really hoped to use space in the craft area at camp to mark and cut the borders for the owl quilt ... and perhaps get them sewn in place. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men... gang oft awa'.  It is the "rainy season", after all, so what might I have expected?

That old building with its leaky roof was in big demand during off hours and even during the daytime, the room is quite dark, especially with the sun turned off. The owl stayed safely waiting in the van, and came home dry but untouched.

I was supposed to help with NYLT (national youth leadership training) which followed camp, but because of a small family crisis, the youth helped me get the craft gear sorted and put away and my own stuff loaded into my van. With assurance that my tasks would be covered, I returned home Saturday morning. Nikko and I unpacked the van and put things away. The house was quiet. My daughter had dropped her priorities to come and  was accompanying her father on rounds to various doctors. Meanwhile, the internet connections were down. I could just look at e-mails on my cell phone and read that my Son and his wife had gone to the hospital for the early delivery of their little son ... What? ... and the baby quilt is still in limbo!

By Sunday, things  ... other than internet connections ... had returned to somewhat normal. Norie had returned to her own family and the church choir was glad to get one more tenor. Paul and I had lunch with a long-time friend who was sad to have moved and left a cherished maple tree behind, as her new apartment had not enough room for it on the balcony. We went to see the tree and found it would be an easy rescue, so Monday morning, while we were in the neighborhood for rice delivery, we picked up the potted tree and brought it home.

Here it is in its new location, lined up with the other two maples. The cut-leaf maple still has purple leaves and the "three-hand" maple is behind me. I will be expecting a beautiful show when autumn rolls around.

Monday morning also brought the news that a new Fukuda had been added to the clan.

Norie and Leia returned for the night, as Norie wanted to accompany her Papa to the doctor's appointment next morning to ask the questions that father would not bother to ask.  ( probably not wanting to hear the answers).

As it turned out, the news all around was not so bad. The baby, though early and small, would be allowed to go home ... still without a name. Papa only needs to get serious about sleeping and controlling his sugar ... nothing new there, and the internet guy came by and fixed the connections. The Fukudas are back up and running.

Norie and I decided to celebrate with a cake.  And, that cake had to be the Turkey Swamp Coffee Cake, non other!  Turkey Swamp is in New Jersey where we lived while Paul was training after joining Bankers' Trust Bank. The weekend after Ken was born, the whole family went camping with our church group to Turkey Swamp and it became a small haven for this woodland girl and her chicks. In fact, when Jon was born, Paul had already returned to Tokyo and my mom came to watch the kids while I was at the hospital. The day before Jon arrived, we went off for a picnic to Turkey Swamp and a friend brought along a delicious coffee cake. My mom was in love with that cake and wanted the recipe. When I finally sent it to her, it was dubbed the "Turkey Swamp Coffee Cake" and has been known by that name ever since. Never an idea of the original name.

With it's connection to Ken, and the birthday of Jon also being this past week, we thought it the perfect cake to celebrate the newest family member.

Well, a birthday cake needs a song and a candle to blow out and Leia has five years of experience to share.

Here is the recipe:

1 box yellow cake mix      
1 box instant pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sour cream

Mix together and pour half in a 10 inch tube pan.

Mix one and a half tsp. cinnamon, 3 Tbsp. sugar, and one cup of nuts.

Put half of that on the batter. Add the rest of the batter and the nut mix on top. Bake one hour at 375 degrees F.

Of course, not having cake mix, thanks to the restored internet, Norie went on line and got a substitute to use. (2C flour, 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1tsp. salt, 1-1/2 C. sugar (which she cut to 1/2C.), and 1 Tbsp. Baking powder. The oil was already in the recipe and 1tsp. vanilla was added to the batter.  We used a generous cup of chopped walnuts. (After all, you can't have too many nuts).

So, here we are,  celebrating!

"Little Bean", as he is referred to, slept through the whole party.

Doesn't that cake look yummy?

It brought back many happy memories and great expectations for the future.

Thank You Norie and Leia!

Let's try this again without the crisis!

NOW... get off the computer and get busy on that baby quilt!!!!!


  1. A lovely post - though filled with anxiety at times, I'm glad that things have worked out well for your husband - and great that your daughter was there for assisting and for celebrating the new baby - congrats all around!!!

    The cake looks yummy too,.

  2. One new baby, healthy and asleep, Papa OK for now, super cake, will try it and use the substitute cake mix too. Leia, you are one very pretty girl and , at times like these, family presence is so valuable. Greetings and congrats, Jean.

  3. Congratulations Granny! Hope you will share a photo of the baby!

  4. Glad that everything is back to normal! Don't give your hubby too much of that cake! And where do you get instant pudding? I will jot down the cake mix substitute as I can never make any of those cakes that want a cake mix. But for pudding I am still at a loss.

  5. Julie, I was immediately taken back to a bright Sunday morning in Omotesando when we ran off to see what Papa was up to. In spite of everything he seems quite resilient. So glad Norie is able to go to the Dr appointments with him. Congratulations on the safe arrival of Little Bean. Hope you have time to get the border on his quilt done soon. I wonder if the cornstarch and part of the sugar were substitutes for the pudding?

  6. Glad all is well again and congratulations on your new grandchild. I will pray for Little Beans continued good health.
    You didn't say what flavour the instant pudding was (butterscotch perhaps) The cake looks yummy and your little granddaughter is absolutely adorable.

  7. Congrats on your newest grandson. I'm also glad to hear that things seem to be settling down for the Fukuda household.

  8. So glad to hear that the Fukudas are back up and running - and wish Little Bean a "Happy Birthday" for me - his cake looks YUMMY!! - ;))

  9. Cngrats on your new little one..I have one due to arrive I July. The cake sounds so good have to try it out.

  10. I am relieved to hear your husband is not too unwell. I am very happy to hear about the new clan member. At times like this having family near is great. The cake sounds good, I will try the 'idea' with a spicy nutty filling of one of my standard cakes. Instead of Turkey Swamp Coffee Cake I will have to give it another name.
    I guess we will be seeing progress on the baby quilt before the owl.
    All the best.

  11. so glad your news was good.. esp the new baby.. hope he gets a name soon xx cake looks wonderful.. save me some xx lol x