Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's been a long time!

I just got on Facebook, and Krissy (who accepted me as her "friend") said I was getting all "techy" now. Then she reminded me that it had been awhile since I'd posted anything on my blog. Wow! January was the last time. (shame shame)

So now I have to figure out how to put some pictures in because Mollie had to try on Aunt Bri's big girl shoes and take a little walk around our kitchen (the shoes made such a nice "clack clack" noise on the ceramic tile).

Aha! I did it! She looks so "grown up," doesn't she? She went clack-clacking over to her Bubba when he got home, and Mike got the biggest charge out of her!

So, Krissy, how's this? Am I getting even more "techy"? Hey, it's kind of fun. (BTW, in case you're wondering about the cast - Mollie fractured the two little bones in her wrist when she took a nose-dive off the bed - not under OUR care, thank the Lord! Check out Annie's blog for more details. )

It's been a busy spring & summer here at the Kruse household. At one point Mike had 26 listings! It was insane for a while. But things have slowed down somewhat for us. I picked up another couple of properties to manage - I'm up to five now. Now that our schedule isn't so crazy, we're going to take a little time off. Briana is in a Gilbert & Sullivan production in Houston, so we're going to head there on Friday the 18th to see it. She's had a blast working on the show - she's understudying the female lead, and that's been a joy for her. We're looking forward to seeing it.

This coming weekend Annie & Travis will be going for a weekend getaway and Mike & I will be watching Mollie from Friday to Sunday. I'm sure we'll have a great time with her! (It will be a great reminder, though, of why God gave us children when we were in our 20's and not our 50's!)

So . . . until my next post . . . maybe September or October?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaack!

Hah! Bet you thought I'd never write again. Well, you're wrong. Mike was able to post a new picture of us (the Kruse Team - yay!), I thought I'd let you all know what we've been up to.

Since I last posted (Aug 28, for cryin' out loud!), we've been quite busy with work and church activities. Mike let me work with a couple of families to help them find houses - lots of fun, but time-consuming. My fall months were mainly taken up with preparing for the mission trip to Costa Rica that ten of us from Village Parkway Baptist Church (VPBC) went on from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5.

To give you a little background, in March 2007, four of us from VPBC had traveled to Costa Rica to the site of the medical clinic that's being built by Drs. Judith and Alekcey Murillo in Paso Marcos. It's on the edge of a reservation of Cabecar Indians, and the two of them want to minister to this group of people's physical and spiritual needs. Three of us who had been there in March returned in December, and what a great time we had! But more about that later.

We had visitors in November - my little sister Katie and her family - husband Gary, son Kyle and his wife Nicole, and Katie and Gary's two daughters Kalleigh and Katrina. Hmmm...I just tried to find some of the pictures we took, and I don't remember where I put them. (We had our main PC crash right around that time, so it's a real pain trying to locate my files & docs from the device we put our stuff on from the old PC.) Anyway, Krissy & Gary were able to come home to visit too, and we all had a ball. It was the first time Katie & Gary and their family visited the Alamo and Riverwalk, and it was fun hosting them!

We also had Judith and Alekcey (the two doctors from Costa Rica) come visit us in November too. We were able to have a team meeting during that time, which was a big help in our planning for the mission trip. I DO have photos of their trip here - we got to see the Alamo (again!) because Alekcey had never been to the Riverwalk. In this pic you can see Jan & Steve Branson (our pastor and his wife), Alekcey & Judith, and me and Tammy McKeen (Mike was taking the picture). Steve, Tammy and I had all been to Costa Rica in March (and Ron Sweet too, but he hadn't gotten downtown in time for this picture). Anyway, Ron, Tammy and I were all on the team to return in December.

Our next big event was Thanksgiving which was wonderful! Everyone was able to be home for that! In fact, we had the chance to take a great family photo. I'll upload it too. And while I'm at it (and if I can find it), I'll upload the picture of my Black Forest Cherry cake so you can see that I did indeed accomplish that task in August.

I guess the most fun that Mike and I have had during the last few months has been watching our grandbaby Mollie grow! She's such a delight, and if you have been to the Jackson's blog, you know what I'm talking about. We had a great Christmas with the whole family, and it was a blast watching Mollie open her presents and play with the wrappings.

That's all for now - I'll write about our Costa Rica trip in my next blog (hopefully sooner than next summer!). By the way, I couldn't find my picture of the cake. Boo! I'll bet you think I really didn't make it now. But I did! I did! just ask Annie. She saw it (and ate it too!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Did you think I wasn't going to finish my story?

I spent last week with my Mom while she recovered from her knee surgery. She did GREAT! I'd sure like to be that lively and spry when I'm 80.

Well, I promised I'd finish my tale of the Black Forest Cherry Cake (BFCC), so here goes.

When I had made the first two cakes, I used the recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook (pub'd circa 1970). I figured I might be able to find a better recipe online, so I googled BFCC (spelled out, of course), and I came up with a dark chocolate cake spiked with cherry liqueur frosted with whipped cream frosting (also spiked) - YUMM (hic) MMM. So, that's what I decided to use. I went to HEB and got the ingredients (cherries, whipping cream, dark cocoa, chocolate bar, etc.), then snuck into the liquor store to purchase the liqueur. I baked the cake part on Friday using my Christmas present (the mixer Mike had gotten me), and I even remembered to grease and flour the pans!

Thinking that the cake would cool just as well IN the pans as out (since I wasn't going to frost them till Saturday), I put some Saran Wrap over them and set them on top of the refrigerator.

Saturday dawned, Mike left the house, and I was ready to make the whipped cream frosting! First, though, I had to take one of the layers out and put it on the plate. I used a knife to loosen the cake from the side of the pan, then shook it and beat it on the sides of the pan to loosen it some more. But it wasn't coming loose. I banged it on the countertop, banged the sides too, and it still appeared to be stuck in the pan. I couldn't understand it! I'd greased and floured the pans! Finally I turned the darned thing over onto the plate, and about half the cake came out of the pan. Brother! Now what was I going to do? I got a spatula and scraped the rest of the cake out of the pan and tried to piece it together. Oh well, I thought, at least this is the bottom layer. I figured I'd use the spatula on the top layer to get it out, and maybe it would come out better.

Okay, now I was ready to start the frosting. I got the half-pint of whipping cream out of the fridge and opened it. When I went to put it into the bowl, a lump kind of fell out of the carton. Hmmm, I thought, that's not good. The odor that was coming from the bowl was not exactly pleasant, either. Is whipping cream supposed to be kind of sour? I put my finger into the bowl and tasted it. Yup. It was sour all right. Just what I needed - now I had to go back to HEB and get another carton of whipping cream!!!

An hour later, I had my new carton of cream (which sounded liquidy when I shook it). I had already cleaned out the bowl, so I was ready! I poured the cream into the bowl and started the beaters. Since I knew that you had to whip whipping cream at a pretty high speed, I turned up the speed on the beaters from about 3 to 10 or 11. I gave the bowl a little shove, and it started to turn on its own. Everything was going great! I turned to go into the pantry to get the powdered sugar out when I felt something wet on my legs. I turned back to the bowl only to see it whirring at a maddeningly furious pace and white stuff flying out of the bowl making a big circle of splattered cream on the floor and all over the countertop! I quickly turned off the beaters and just stood there in the midst of the mess. I felt like crying! I figured I could scrape up the stuff off the countertop and return it to the bowl, but I wouldn't go so low as to scrape it off the floor! (Or would I????) I didn't.

In spite of all that, the frosting turned out pretty good. But I had the dickens of a time getting the top layer out! Turns out that the cake's saving grace was the cherry liqueur that I poured on the layers and put into the whipped cream icing. (Maybe next time I'll soak the cherries in the liqueur too.)

On Sunday Annie, Travis, Mike, and I thoroughly enjoyed the cake - once you cut the cake into pieces (and believe me, each piece was in pieces), none of us really minded how it LOOKED. But the taste -mmmm! But I don't think I'll be making any more BFCCs anytime soon. Given my track record, Mike will be due for another one on or about age 70 or so.

I did manage to get a picture of the cake, so I'll post a picture of it when I figure out how to put pictures on my blog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The First Post

Mike & I decided to create our own blog after having seen what Annie & Travis and Krissy & Gary have been doing! If you haven't seen their blogs yet, you'll have to click on the links. Krissy & Gary just returned from a great vacation to several of the western states, and they have some beautiful pics! And Annie & Travis have lots of pictures of their precious little dolly, Mollie. We'll probably be putting several pictures of her on our site too, so be prepared!I (Terri) am leaving tomorrow (Tues. Aug. 21 - Mike's 55th birthday!) to stay with my Mom in Tucson for a few days. She had knee surgery on Aug. 14, and I'll be with her helping her with housekeeping, cooking, and maybe a little chauffering. We celebrated Mike's 55th yesterday with Annie, Travis, and Mollie. When I asked Mike what he wanted for his birthday, he was silent for a long time. I told him I'd gone to Office Depot and looked at those GPS thingies for the car. But I told the sales guy that my husband would probably take one look at it and sigh in frustration - Mike thinks it's more work to figure out how to use those "techno toys" than it's worth. He'd rather just pull out his Ferguson's Map Book and look it up!So what did he want? A Black Forest Cherry Cake! I asked if I could just get one at the store, but NO - he wanted it from scratch. Now, mind you, I've made him two Black Forest Cherry cakes in our 31 years - the first one was for his birthday when we'd been married only 7 weeks. It came out pretty good. The next one was about 12 years later when we were living in San Angelo (I have photos, so I can pretty easily date the times I put forth the effort on those cakes). Needless to say, I hadn't baked a cake in a LOOOONG time. In fact, I didn't even have cake pans. I had to call Annie and go over and get her cake pans (and play with the baby for an hour or so). But I DID have a brand-new stand-alone mixer. Mike had gotten it for me last Christmas (thinking, of course, that I would one day make him a Black Forest Cherry Cake).Anyway, I'm going to post this now and pick up on my tale of the BFCC later. Stay tuned - it gets better!