Many things have perplexed me over the years but this week topped them all. Okay, I may be overstating things. 

I do that sometimes.

Here are some of the things that cause me considerable thought and concentrated effort to understand.

Drivers in Singapore. I used to believe that no one should have told the Italians about the invention of the automobile. I was wrong. Driving in Singapore is not good for my soul. It would seem that the rules of the road here are merely suggestions. You can do whatever the heck you want to do as long as you put your flashers on.

Pirate Guy. We spend our summers in Bellingham Washington. It is a beautiful college town with sweeping views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. We do have our fair share of quirky people, but that just give us character.  Every summer though I see the same guy dressed as a pirate. Why? Why a pirate? What does he dress as in the winter? It doesn't keep me up at night but it does make me wonder.

Paris Hilton.  I don't think I need to go into details here.

Which brings me to this week.  My daughter turned 16. How did that happen? Where did the time go? I found myself wondering, did I hold her enough, have I told her how extraordinary she is, does she really need to learn how to drive?

That wasn't what puzzled me. It was the request she made for her birthday cake. In preparation for her birthday dinner I had been looking at recipes and made a little list of some particularly scrumptious sounding cakes. There was this one from Epicurious, a Fudgy Chocolate Cake but I ruled it out because it used a cake mix and I wanted to make something homemade. Then there was Tyler Florence's Gooey, Decadent Chocolate Cake and even Ina's Beatty's Chocolate Cake  Any of which would have been fitting for such an occasion.  So which one did my lovely daughter choose?

A Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix and Rainbow Chip frosting from a can. It killed me to make it, but she giggled and clapped hands when she saw the mix at the store and after all, it was what she really wanted.

What's a mom to do? Happy 16th Birthday McKenna!  I hope the year ahead is as remarkable as you are!


  1. I guess good cake is wasted on the young. If it will make you feel better, I'll let you bake one of those fancy ones for me :)

  2. I hate driving too...that's why i love living in amsterdam now coz I just ride my bike everywhere...def good for the soul :)

  3. this is our kids' FAVORITE TOO !!! This and strawberry !! they love these cake mixes !! happy birthday , beautiful McKenna !!

  4. I know that was a sacrifice you made for your child, Shelly. You're an awesome mom. McKenna, we're gonna have a fabulous year. Can't wait till you're here.

  5. I've not heard of Pirate Guy... but did you ever run into Thomasina in Bellingham? That's one to share over a glass of wine and some of that cake Patrick wants you to make for him. ;-)

  6. Ms. Megan and P, it's a date. Cake, wine. Thomasina, and just maybe Pirate Guy.