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Friday, June 3, 2011

Cake Building

Tomorrow is my nephew's birthday and I volunteered to build him a birthday cake. He has been collecting "Predator" action figures, and asked for a Predator cake. Yeah, that's just not going to happen. I had a crazy week and a run-around Friday, and now my creative energy is totally depleted. Luckily, I didn't promise him anything. I think I will just make a black cake and put a big powdered sugar skull stencil on it. Kids like black and skulls these days, don't they?

I'm going to use my handy dandy color mixing skills I acquired in oil painting class years ago to make the black frosting. With paints you use ultramarine with burnt umber (brown) to get what my instructor termed as "true black." I figure the same will work with blue food coloring and chocolate frosting.

In all of my crazy running around this morning, I did manage to stop by the Turlock Certified Farmer's Market. It was very small, like the Merced County Certified Farmer's Market, and a lot of the same vendors were there who we saw at the Modesto Certified Farmer's Market were there. We've been itching to check it out for the last year, but because they have it on Friday mornings we were able to go before. At least I know that we aren't missing anything that we can't get at the other markets. They are having a night market on June 24, so I hope we can make it to that though.

And... now that the baby kittens have reached eight weeks of age, it's time to get the mama cat fixed. It's tough trying to factor in the costs of helping out a homeless cat and her kittens, but in the end I feel it's worth it because I hate seeing animals living on the street. When I called the nearest vet today to find out how much it was to spay a female cat ($100.00!!), I nearly fell over in my seat. I didn't know this procedure ran so high because all of my own adopted cats were pre-spayed. It also made me understand a little bit about why we have so many stray and dumped animals, like the mama cat and kittens I rescued. It's much easier for people to get rid of the animal than to pay those high fees to do the responsible thing. It saddens me that our system is so messed up, and it's the poor animals that have to suffer for it.

Anyway, I kindly thanked the receptionist and said I would try elsewhere. She asked me to hold for a second and then let me know about a spay and neuter program that is being put on through the Los Banos shelter. For one day (on Father's day) you can get cats spayed for $10! Boy, did I ever jump on that. I drove right into town and placed my deposit.

If you live in the Fresno area, Hope Animal Foundation has fairly reasonable rates. I saw an ad on Craigslist recently that said they were spaying and neutering kittens for $5, but... it's Craigslist, so who knows if it is legit? I am going to call on Monday when they are open and find out, because if so, then I'll get all of the little ones done too before I adopt them out. If you live in the Modesto area, Alley Cat Gaurdians offers one of the lowest rates I've found so far. They also have a feral cat program that charges even less for cats that are caught in traps.

Alright, now a cake mixing I will go...

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