First adventure

Grady, Braxton and Bailey having some summer fun.  July, 2014

Grady, Braxton and Bailey having some summer fun. July, 2014

“I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream.” Heywood Broun

Unless maybe the first or second adventure with birthday cake.  (Grady got a sneak preview with Megan’s chocolate cake.)  Maybe it’s my imagination, but Bailey (she’s the one on the right) seems to be demonstrating that even very young girls tend to be a little neater.

No matter what age you are, I hope you are able to enjoy these final days of summer with just a bit of the carefree fun these one and two-year-olds seem to be having.  I don’t necessarily recommend smearing icing on your face, but perhaps observing a nearby baby or two can give you the vicarious joy of diving into something delicious with innocent abandon.

If your local toddlers are all booked up, you can still give yourself permission to devour an ice cream cone or cupcake in the spirit (if not the results) of children who are too young to know, much less care, what they might look like.  Here’s wishing you a few more weeks filled with the sweetness of summer!

One year ago today:

Summer afternoon


  1. First, I am re-doubling my daily prayers for Jeff.

    Secondly, children and first birthday cakes are truly recreational for all involved. Even after your oldest nephew’s first birthday, I snapped a photo while he was enjoying that old Southern favorite – buttery cornbread. In the photo, not only are pieces of cornbread on the walls of his high chair corner, but some was on the top of his head!
    I exclaimed to Sherry, ” wow, the cornbread exploded!”

    • Thanks for the prayers for Jeff. He seems better tonight, but he tends to push too hard when he starts to get better, and then he overdoes it and ends up worse sometimes. I hope he will take it easy on himself this week.

      Do you have a digital copy of the “exploding cornbread” photo? I’d love to see it. It is a mystery to me how babies manage to get their food smeared EVERYWHERE. Some of my favorite photos are the ones I took of Ryan and April. They were babies when I was first learning 35mm photography and I used to practice on them a lot.

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    That’s great! After seeing those photos, I was wondering what I could do yet this summer that would require getting hosed down afterward? Maybe something like motocross in the mud? Adults can get dirty, too. Yesterday I certainly needed a shower after hiking (sunscreen, bug spray, perspiration). But I think I like your idea of eating (not wearing) an ice cream cone better!
    Have a great day!

    • Susan, I usually get pretty messy when I’m digging weeds or doing any kind of gardening. Sometimes I even end up with mud on my face from swatting away bugs or wiping my head with the back of my hand, not realizing it’s dirty too! A friend who visited us while we lived in Northern Californa wanted to go to the mud baths in Calistoga but I just couldn’t get excited about that myself so luckily she understood. 😀 I hope you will treat yourself to a nice ice cream cone very soon!

  3. Carolyn

    Oh my, what fun.

    • Yes, and it’s even more fun when we don’t have to be the ones cleaning up. Hee-hee.

  4. That wonderful photo, only goes to prove, that-ice cream and cake on your face, encourages more joy, than a chip on your shoulder.

    • Alan, I need to remind myself of that! It’s hard to be grumpy when surrounded by sweetness.

  5. Sheila

    Julia, I’m laughing about the discovery of ice cream recently. 🙂 Not just ANY ice cream, but Neapolitan! I mentioned to a friend that Bill and I delight every evening having this treat only to be told, ” That’s not new!” It’s not about a new flavor, upscale brand, or number of scoops! It’s about 2 people, for many, many years enjoying ice cream TOGETHER! 🙂

    • Sheila, I think a lot of people like Neapolitan, or maybe even just good old vanilla. It amazes me how many flavors of ice cream there are now. At the grocery store I get cold just holding the freezer case open to try to read all the different types. Jeff and I both love ice cream too. We eat HUGE bowls of it. That’s one of the things Jeff can still eat, even when he is not feeling very well, so I’m thankful for that. Jeff loves soft serve ice cream cones too. Drew likes to kid him about it. I am very happy you and Bill enjoy ice cream together — it’s definitely one of the SWEET things in life!

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        Okay, I get the ice cream bit. What I don’t understand is why both Sheila and Julia bring in the French general and self-stylized emperor of the early nineteenth century!?!?? Napolean Bonaparte sometimes did not even have a way to chill his claret, much less make his own brand of Ice Cream! Get a grip, girls!!

        • Eric, this discussion is way over my head now, but I feel certain you will find this discussion to have the scholarly tone you are seeking. Que les fantômes d’Austerlitz vous hanter!

          • Sheila

            Julia, thank you for the documentary that made this controversial issue perfectly clear (to us), 🙂 !

            • It is always edifying to discover the serious academic treatment of such topics, which can be found in abunance on the internet. The mind boggles.

        • Eric, now you know why I read the comments. I certainly wouldnt want to miss your scholarly comments! 🙂 “Nora”

          • I think this is a case of Nick calling Nora nosey! 😀

  6. LB

    So … I pulled into Breaks Interstate Park (shared by Virginia and Kentucky) and after parking the bike, and getting off all hot and sweaty, I went into the gift shop and purchased an ice cream cone. Such happiness in one little cone 🙂
    Happy summer to you, too!!

    • LB, this is PERFECT – I felt refreshed just reading it! I hope you are enjoying being back on the bike. If your weather has been like ours, it’s been an ideal time for it. Thanks for checking in, and have a great trip!

  7. Michael

    I hope Jeff gets lots of ice cream and I actually enjoyed a peanut butter milk shake last night.
    Gelato is also nice.

    • A peanut butter milkshake sounds wonderful! I like anything resembling ice cream, including gelato, sherbet, frozen fruit bars, and my personal favorite, sorbet. I think Jeff prefers ice cream to all of the above.

  8. LOL, this is one reason I don’t like falling behind. Tooo fun! That looked like a real hoot. Especially because Grady was smart to wear glasses and they’re filled with goop. I honestly don’t know where summer went so fast. Poof! Done.

    We’re having a beautiful evening on the deck, I think it was 24C today (75 F) Our deck faces East so evenings are just awesome. I’m having a wee bit of wine and trying to decide what dinner should be. I worked in the house all day unpacking more boxes. Good Grief there’s a lot of stuff. So we are relishing these last days, but still trying to get things done. My favourite cake is carrot cake with creme cheese Icing. It’s a rather naughty indulgence. I wish I was 4 years old again and didn’t care xoxoxo

    • WOW, that weather makes me envious. This past week has been the hottest of the year for us, but today it finally cooled down some. That unpacking is such a chore. I always tried to take it one day at a time. Here I am thinking carrot cake is a HEALTHY alternative to the chocolate kind with lots of frosting! I guess it’s all relative. But those carrots and cinnamon are good for you! Especially without all that artificial coloring in the frosting! So indulge once in awhile. 😀

      • Hmmmmm, ok, talked me into it Julia. My problem might be I treat myself far too often. Today I had a piece of Banana Bread at Starbucks with my Tall Skinny Latte and it rang through at over 6 bucks. I guess it was a cheap lunch, but when I asked, they told me their prices went up. Holy, I didn’t think that was possible. I need a new vice 😦

        You’re right, carrots and cinnamon must have some positive food value. I don’t understand how it can have so many calories. In the Campbell Soup cook book, there’s a mock Carrot cake recipe that uses a can of tomato soup…no kidding 😀 It’s actually pretty tasty. I’m convinced you could slather that icing on anything and it’d be awesome. HA.

        • You will laugh at me but I almost never go to designer coffee shops because I am so cheap frugal. Get yourself a dreamy flavor of hot cocoa mix (dark chocolate, caramel, raspberry or mint are my favorites) and instead of using hot water to make it, use coffee. Then add milk to taste (I use skim). Works for me and costs almost nothing. I think you are right about the cream cheese frosting – it would make anything taste good, so if you don’t like the homemade chocolate coffee, just add a spoon or two of that frosting and stir it in. 😀 Hee-hee, only partly joking. Actually I would use whip cream probably.

          • Absolutely no laughing from me J. You’re the smart one. I have to re-think how much I’m willing to spend. I like many of the benefits employees enjoy there. Like health plans, education plans and a fair wage. Maybe that’s just the real cost of providing a good job?

            You’re homemade Latte’s sound fabulous. I’m going to give that a whirl. FYI, I call that frugal too. Thank goodness I’m not 1 block away anymore. I’m down to maybe twice a week. But on a yearly bases, that’s over $2,500…..yikes! I’m not even having something fancy, I see crazy drinks leaving there with whip and caramel toppings. I wonder what those cost? Thanks for the recipe 😀 x

            • I do try to tell myself, when spending money, that the cash is not vaporizing into the air; it’s providing jobs, income and benefits for someone else. Some businesses really are exemplary at that. It’s one reason I like to eat at Inn N Out Burger in CA – I read in Fast Food Nation that they are really good at giving employees benefits while keeping costs relatively low for consumers. It is wise, though, to add up the cumulative cost (and calories) of one’s favorite treats, and then make a truly informed decision as to whether it’s a good long term plan. The great thing about limiting such small luxuries is that they feel even MORE like a luxury when one occasionally indulges!

              • It’s nice to hear that Inn N Out Burger does this for the support of their employees. We don’t have them here but I’ve heard of them because apparently after the Oscars, lot’s of the girls go there because they’ve been starving to fit in their dresses.

                Oh dear, that does make a lot of sense that if you deny yourself these things, they’ll become more special when you DO have them. But I’m pretty spoilt with little luxuries, or as I like to think of it, “I have a routine and it’s a bummer that they are making it too expensive”, LOL

                • Just think of it as all the more special because it’s NOT routine, and the expense as being an added incentive to change things up a bit. About 15 years ago, after 20+ years of Jeff and I being able to eat as much as we wanted and not gain weight, I had to quit making some of my more calorie-intense dishes regularly and just started saving them for the holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now they are more special when we do have them. The other thing is that I really don’t feel deprived, because: 1. I’ve found good substitutes that keep me happy and a bit healthier (tea, fruit, Greek yogurt etc.) and 2. those holidays seem to get closer and closer together – time flies so quickly that the time for feasting is here before I know it. Ultimately, it’s really not about denying oneself; it’s more like coming back into a more finely-tuned balance. If I ever do start craving my cheesy potato casserole, I just tell myself “wait awhile…it will be the holiday season soon.” That’s true even in January!

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