(This was going to be a throwback Thursday post to my nephew’s birthday last summer.  Since Monday, their neighborhood has been devastated by the fires. I’ll insert some pictures in the end, for reference.)

This is my baby sister, Rachel. HER baby just turned seven and started first grade! Time to party!

There was a big celebration at their homestead, with a bit of a throwback to our roots on Lawn Avenue. Besides a ton of boys from their hockey and lacrosse leagues, there were sno-cones, an impromptu peanut scramble and of course, delicious cake. You’re probably thinking there was a machine to make the sno-cones. Oh no.

We scraped our own ice in Sellersville, we scrape our own in California.

A couple ten-pound blocks of ice, syrupy squeeze bottles, pointy paper cones and antique scrapers. That’s how we do.

The scrapers are due for a sharpening, (they are from the fifties) but nonetheless, it was a brilliant party activity. There was also a piñata. I hate piñatas. I see no good reason to give a blindfolded child a large stick and tell them to strike hard. But that’s just me. I know it’s a love of others, and I try not to spoil their fun. I just look away.

On this particular piñata, the candy hole was a little small for the amount of kiddos. There were tears. Sissy quickly got the back-up candy and we started throwing it out like a peanut scramble! Followed up by an amazing homemade cake and nobody cared about the candy anymore! It all worked out!

That’s a white cake with chocolate chips (the polka-dot cake) with whipped cream filling, coated in a chocolate ganache. My most favorite part of the party.

 Happy Birthday Crobzilla!  We love you to the moon and back!

Now for the update:  this is her house. It survived, because her hubs fought all night with a firefighter friend.  It’s riddled with soot and ash.

Here are some snaps from her neighbors, who lost everything.

And these snaps. We spend all our time on their patio, looking over the Ventura Basin, out to the mighty Pacific, whenever we’re there. Not sure when we’ll be able to go back. It’s been a heartbreaking week here in the land of Angels.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”