Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday; in celebration of which, the snow leopard and I are having a party.  R. Aloysius was much too excited at the prospect of posing with a live flame so we had to substitute a colored pencil for the candle.*  The cake itself is a double decker rice cake, frosted with something closely related to the chocolate gob — I would list the recipe, but it might detract from the joy of the occasion.  I will however, briefly caution against trying this at home.  Snow leopards are dangerous animals, and should not, under normal circumstances, be fed the sort of thing that happens when I experiment with baking chocolate.  This very rare snow leopard is extremely well bred.  He coughed politely when I offered him cake, and waited until I wasn’t looking to hide it under the present.

Mom is not only the nicest mother in law I could imagine, but has become a dear friend as well.   We are taught in the Psalms that a woman’s keeping house, and being a joyful mother of children is from God — it is a blessing from Him, and so it is a way of life that is a praise of His goodness.  Mom exemplifies that.  I am very thankful to have not only her example, her prayers, and her friendship, but to have her as part of my heritage.

*I thought I might somewhere in some corner of a cupboard own some birthday candles, but no.  I didn’t think the pow-pow (I’m not sure what they are technically called: the handheld devices one uses to start a gas stove) would have the same appeal sticking up out of a rice cake, as something slender and decided on the orange pencil — but that made me reflect on how charmingly and practically Mom Z can improvise whatever is lacking from normal little things and make everything so much more interesting.  She has always been able to do so, from what Ruben tells me.

PS.  The snow leopard also wishes me to say Happy Birthday to Laura.