Today would have been my Mum’s 90th birthday, it blows my mind to think that she died 20 years ago. My heart goes out to the thousands of people all over the whole world who are facing the reality of death of someone very dear, even after 20 years the ache does not go away.
So today I do what I have done for over 40 years each April 18th –I bake her birthday cake 😊
Sadly, this year there is no one with whom to share the cake. I usually make it as the dessert for the April Day Camp Committee meeting but of course our meeting this coming Monday evening will be taking place via “Google Meet” and not around my dining room table. I shall eat a piece tonight and then carefully slice the rest, wrap the pieces and freeze them in the hopes of sharing them with friends when things are a bit more “normal”.
Tomorrow afternoon we will be holding the AGM of Crosstalk Ministries, this meeting will happen via Zoom so 30 people will not be squeezing into my living room as they have done for the past few years, nor will I be preparing large jugs of Limeade or bowls of fancy popcorn. 
Despite holding only virtual meetings there is still work to do and a fair bit of time this week has been spent typing and emailing agendas, arranging AGM details with our outgoing President and checking on the best time for the Google Meet gathering as 2 of our committee members live in Halifax, which is in a different time zone 😊. We’ve settled on 630pm Montreal time (730 in Nova Scotia) so that those members can get to bed in good time as both of them have early starts the next morning.
I have also spent more time this week dealing with host communities who require refunds for the 2020 deposits they made and also putting together an Emergency Day Camp package for one community in another province who might be able  to pull together a partial Day Camp on their own sometime later in the summer. It is good to have this collection of resources on hand in case anyone else requests them.
It is still COLD here and twice this week we have had unpleasant flurries of snow. Nothing that required shovelling but even so by mid-April one really has had enough snow for the season!
Later today I hope to do a bit more garden work. I have raked up any dry autumn leaves that appeared under the snow but there are a few bushes and ornamental grasses that need to be pruned down in order to prepare for new spring growth. I was going to begin the work yesterday, as I’m itching to be outside in the garden but it was -9ºC so I decided to wait until today, when it is slightly warmer.
Like everyone else who is living in lockdown I have been working on projects around the house in order to keep active. At this time of year I always have a long “to-do” list of springcleaning chores. This week I cleaned all the mirrors and picture glass around the house and then got out a ladder and house paint and touched up various small cracks and nicks in the paintwork from the basement to the top floor. If it finally warms up next week the next big project is cleaning all the windows and doors and washing ALL the curtains. This job takes about 3 days to complete andI try to break it down into separate sections, otherwise it is just too overwhelming for one person to tackle 😊
This week I also completed two more Japanese aprons to add to my Christmas gifts stash and sewed 6 furoshiki in which to wrap the chicken awards that are sadly also being stashed away ready, God willing, for summer 2021. After painting the 6 bowls for the Team Leaders, I was brought to a halt on chicken award production as all thrift stores are currently closed so I cannot hunt for any smaller bowls or perhaps mugs, which I would like to paint for the Team Members. I guess I have time to look since they are not needed for 17 months 😊
Since the recipe for Tropic Aroma Cake has not been featured on the blog since 2014 I’m taking the liberty of doing a repeat as it is truly a great cake and looks pretty special, although it is easy to prepare.
Tropic Aroma Cake

½ cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon     
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 tsps. Baking Powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 egg 
1 cup milk
2 ½ cups flour
Cream the butter, add sugar and beaten eggs. Mix well. Sift dry ingredients and add half to the mixture, then add milk and rest of dry ingredients. Bake 2/3 of this mixture in 2 greased and lined 9” layer cake tins and to the remaining third add 1 Tbsp. Cocoa powder mixed with 1 Tbsp. boiling water. Use this for the middle layer.
Bake all three layers in a 375ºpreheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Put the following filling between layers and to ice top and sides of cake:
3 cups icing sugar
5 Tbsps. strong coffee
1tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbsps. Cocoa powder
3 Tbsps. butter
Cream butter, icing sugar and cocoa very slowly, beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and coffee a few drops at a time until thin enough to spread.