Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy birthday

Today is my mom's birthday. She is 83 ... 84 if the Navy is asking. She lied about her age to get in over 60 years ago. I always wonder what would happen if they found out now. Would they strip her of her veteran's benefits? They've done that to other people.

She was stationed at the San Diego Naval Hospital. She worked at the information desk. Pretty cushy for war-time service, I suppose. I don't know why she was so antsy to join. She said she wanted in and didn't want to wait another year. I always thought joining the Navy was an odd decision to make: she gets sea sick.

Anyway, I will be making the cake. I'm cheating and using a mix. It's a Duncan Hines French vanilla. It's what I had for my birthday, too, and it was actually very good. Two layers (well, mine was three), with whipped cream and strawberries between them and whipped cream on top. Hard to go wrong, really. Yum.

Kelsey made her a worry doll. Kelsey is heavy into worry dolls right now. Worry dolls with big heads, for some reason. Then she wanted to make her a box to put her worry doll in when it wasn't worrying for her. So, with some help from Eric, and not nearly as much help as you might think, she made her a box on the lathe. It's curly maple and gorgeous. I'm sure Grandma will be very happy.


aims said...

Wow!! Those pics are all impressive. The cake made me hungry and the worry doll and container made me wonder if I would be able to do anything like that. Congrats on the workmanship!

jan said...

That is a lovely box, I'm sure grandma will love it. Happy birthday to your Mom and I hope the worry doll gets little use.

Eric said...

Kelsey and I had a wonderful time making that box. It was her idea, she picked the wood and made all the design decisions. I did the parts of the process that take a little body mass. She really did a huge amount of the work. I have a mini-lathe which is one of the very safest woodworking tools. She stands on a little bench and it's a great site watching her work.

The best part of the project was that we were in the shop together and she really enjoyed it. I was sitting with her last night at bed time and I asked her what we are going to make next. Her eyes lit up and she's thinking about it.

MJ Krech said...

This makes me want to drive up there and hug Eric! To pass on this art to another generation is priceless.

So here's how it goes: Kelsey's great great great grandfather, John P. Weeks, was famous for making wooden chairs, rakes, and hand-lathed spindle beds. Her great great uncle, Ambrose Weeks, hand-lathed the round wooden box with lid I've got. Her grandfather, John, has made gorgeous salad bowls on a lathe. Her father, Eric, fashions just about anything out of wood, including beautiful wooden pens on a lathe, one of which I am proud to own. And now Kelsey takes her place in the family tradition with her own lathed round wooden box!

How spectacular to see this moving through the years like this!

My only question: Where are the photos of Kelsey standing there in front of the lathe?!!

Amy said...

Aims, worry dolls are easy. We use twist-ties and embroidery floss. Kelsey is definitely a do-er.

Jan, my mom didn't believe Kelsey made it at first, but she was delighted when it really sunk in. She said she would treasure it forever. And the worry doll? She said it would get lots of use.

E-I'm glad you got to have some good daddy-daughter time. It meant so much to her.

Marcia, I'm proud Kelsey is carrying the family torch so well.

Lola said...

This post and all its comments made me feel so happy - families are wonderful, and making things to give people you love is wonderful too.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Happy Birthday to your mum. Great looking cake.

CJ xx

Amy said...

Lola, what a nice thing to say. Thanks.

CJ, the cake was fantastic. My mom wouldn't let me take home the leftovers (there weren't many), so it must have been good.