Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Sweet Spot

     I spent all day yesterday baking for my kids' school bake sale, as in baking until my feet and hips throbbed from standing in the kitchen so long and my neglected dogs put their heads down on their paws and made sad noises.
     The older boy had volunteered me to make two things he personally likes: chocolate chip peppermint cookies and cranberry-orange bread, but in huge quantities and it took forever.  The younger boy had stated that he was going to take some of his own money to the bake sale so he could buy all my cookies.  I suggested he save his money and eat some cookies at home for free.  He is not one to be deterred, however.  I refer you to any previous post that mentions him.
     While I sliced cranberries and sifted cocoa, I tried to figure out how much money my cookies and bread could possibly bring in, not even attempting to calculate the cost of the ingredients and of course not attempting to calculate the cost of my time.  I truly enjoy baking, but. . .wouldn't it make more sense to just write a check?  What if the school sent home a note that read, "Please send a check in the amount of the ingredients you would purchase to make two or three baked goods plus fifty percent markup plus the cost of your time if you are gainfully employed and not a housewife whose husband must slave away to support her Aussie habit"?  I would have written that check in a heartbeat, and Ivy, Revel and I could have spent those many hours working on stuff like "give me a kiss," "spin" and, in Ivy's case, COME.
Messy recipe = yummy recipe.
     Ivy's first agility class starts this Thursday.  I am beyond excited, but also worried that we will get kicked out and/or be completely humiliated in some way.  I am still irrationally attached to the idea of being a good student.  I'd love to run out and buy a new notebook, or sharpen some #2 pencils, but what I actually need to focus on in the next few days is having Ivy come when called with major distractions present.  Most agility work is done off-leash, making recall paramount.  She is very strong in her understanding of what she is supposed to do.  She's crazy loyal to me, generally wants to be near me, and we have practiced recall her whole life in many situations.  But she's still a teen, and teens like to test.  She also prefers working on flashy tricks, not basic, save-your-life stuff.  I'm hoping, perhaps irrationally, that it will all be okay.
     At the bake sale I bought a piece of homemade baklava and then went searching, after a while, for my older son (twelve, into hanging out with his friends and no need to keep tabs on his mama).  I found him quietly munching a big fat piece of what looked like cranberry-orange bread.
     "Did you buy a piece of my bread?" I asked.
     Mouth too full to speak coherently, he nodded and gave me a happy "Mmmm hmmm."
     Whether I've helped the school or not, my boy fan club made the day of baking worthwhile.  The dogs might disagree, but this time, that's okay.

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