There are a lot of things I love about my job, and this blue llama cake perfectly sums them up. Let me explain.
First, I love working with food. Baking, cooking, creating things for people to eat and enjoy. It’s a medium that speaks to me. The llama cake is cute, but it’s also made with care and quality. The cake and frosting will taste delicious, and that brings me satisfaction knowing the finished product will delight the tastebuds as well as the eyes.
Second, I love working with my staff. We have never been asked to do a llama cake before. And for the record, this isn’t something we offer (more about that in a minute), so please don’t call and order a llama cake. But we made an exception, and we knew we could figure it out together. It was a bonding experience to get the frosting color just right, to talk through different strategies, to hear input and ideas before we started piping, and to laugh our heads off as the cute llama face began to take form. I could have just done it alone, or asked someone to do it. But we did it together, and now we all have the llama cake memory in our bank of fond feelings, and that’s a gift.
Lastly, and the real point of this story, is how much I love working with our clients. This cake is for a little girl whose mother has been a Hurley House client for five years. She used to come to my home, back before we had a retail location, and she would bring her children to Store Hours in my dining room. I got to know their names, and learn a little bit about their family. Now they come to the Hurley House store on a regular basis for treats or dinner, or they swing through the drive through and pick up an after school snack, or they order a birthday cake.
When Laura walked in and asked if we could possibly help her out with a llama cake, the answer was yes before we even knew the details. She had ordered the toppers, but she needed a professional to help her out with the finished cake, and I didn’t hesitate for a second. It’s the opportunity to say yes to someone who has been with us since day one, connected to our story, supported us, shared their lives with us, and comes in looking for a way to make her daughter’s desire for a blue llama birthday cake a reality. I love getting to show my gratitude for loyal friends and clients like Laura by stepping outside of what we normally offer and making a very special exception.
There are a lot of things rolling around and shifting at Hurley House. All of it good, some of it hard. But it has sparked in me a deep gratitude for the people I get to work with, the way we do our work, and the people with whom we share our work.
Here’s what we talked about this week…
Is there anything more cliche than being annoyed by the generation younger than your own? Is it not obvious to everyone who ever lived that for the entirety of all human kind the older generation in any setting has always been shocked, annoyed, dismayed, cynical, disapproving, and put off by the younger generation? Hey Boomers, remember when the Greatest Generation disapproved of you and your music/fashion/life? Why are we surprised when the generation younger than us begins to do things differently? At some point, our generation will become the older generation, and the next generation will always always always approach life differently. Their music will be odd. Their fashion will be odd. Their home decor will be odd. But this is how it goes every time for all time. Give it thirty years and all those new fangled ideas and choices will be cute and nostalgic. Look at Elvis. Look at The Beatles. Look at Madonna. How about we all stop being surprised and try to not get so upset or surprised that people younger than us do things differently. Maybe it’s not as bad as we think.
I have two children who are close to being able to drive. It changes my perspective on how I drive, and it brings to my mind things that I think are important truths to pass down to future drivers. At the top of my list is the importance of knowing and exercising the right of way. It is unsafe to try and be nice by not taking the right of way. Having the right of way is an understanding among all drivers of how things are supposed to proceed, who goes when, where you should be and not be, and how to maintain order in tricky situations on the road. When people try to shirk the right of way in an effort to be kind or gracious, they are being unsafe and potentially hurtful to other drivers. Know the rules of the road. Follow them with confidence. Take the right of way when you have it.
Do you know the other name for hazelnuts? Filberts. I bought some hazelnuts from Central Market this week, and they are packaged as filberts. Charles Dickens uses the word filbert in A Christmas Carol (“There were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves…”), but other than that, it is not a common word.
This week I decided that there is a certain cuss word that I wish would hurry up and become acceptable and main stream. It’s the S-H word. It seems to be gaining popularity, and I hear it quite a lot among my peers as well as in print by one of my favorite authors. I like it in situations where I would normally say, “Shoot” or “kidding” or “stuff.” Of course, as with all cussing, the tone and delivery can make or break the experience for the other party, but in some instances, a bit of grit is needed, coupled with a light-hearted tone, to adequately get the point across. I think it won’t be long before we can all just say the S-H word without sounding crass or uncivilized. The same can’t be said for every cuss word. The B-word and the F-word will never not sound harsh to my ears. Upon further discussion, Molly talked about how the word “damn” is the friendliest of the cuss words, having a classy ring to it that perfectly punctuates certain sentences. No one is offended by damn. It’s just the right punch of emotion, but not in an aggressive manner. It brings emphasis, but in an endearing and likable tone. I tend to agree.
Have a lovely weekend!