Carnival? Try Three Ring Circus!


The past three days around here have been chaos. Carl took vacation from work to do some chores around the house and also to help the Atkins PTA get ready for their big fundraiser, the School Carnival. (He’s the PTA treasurer.) Since Wednesday morning, we’ve:

1) Cleaned the shed
2) Prepped the mower for spring and stored the snowthrower
3) Gotten Big Red, our neurotic pickup truck, repaired
4) Bought a truckload of supplies for the Carnival food vendor-whatever
5) Run household errands
6) Gotten my new glasses (Whoo-Hoo!)
7) Picked up and delivered 41 Papa Murphy’s pizzas, also for the food vendor-whatever

And by myself I’ve:

1) Hosted a soccer meeting (and pseudo-practice) during a Severe Thunderstorm Watch
2) Baked banana bread for us at home, AND
3) Baked and decorated two cakes for the Carnival

Baking cakes for Carnival is always a unique experience. I try to make a cake to match the Carnival theme, which this year is an Americana-Red-White-And-Blue theme, but I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to make a Lemon Cake decorated like an American flag, or a creme filled chocolate eclair cake. And since I couldn’t decide between the two, I ended up doing both. The Flag cake was easy: just bake the cake, pop it out of the pan and onto a board, and decorate with colored frostings. I’ve discovered a new friend, Wilton decorator icing in a can, which really sped up the decorating time since I didn’t have to mix the colors myself. The Eclair cake was another matter. It baked up OK, but when I went to make the filling it came out this really strange, greyish-yellow color. It tasted fine, but it looked horrible. So I did what I usually do when I have a food-related panic: I called my Mom. She told me to add a little cocoa to the filling, just enough to make it a light chocolate color, and taste it, and then call her back. I did, and the filling came out perfect. My Mom always knows exactly what to do, luckily for me. Thanks, Mom!

In other news, our pickup truck is now repaired. It was really acting weird – besides the engine ping Carl’s been fighting for the better part of a year, the electrical was going haywire. It turns out that our battery was only at 30% capacity, so replacing the battery solved the blinky-lights problem. And the ping was caused by the failure of an after-market mass airflow sensor that Carl had put on to replace the old, original mass airflow sensor that had died. Hopefully we won’t have a ping anymore – we need the pickup to tow the camper, and I’ve made camping reservations in both South Dakota and Iowa for June and July. We’re anticipating going on a real, two-week family vacation!

Talk about a three-ring circus…


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