Making Lemon Brownies

Grace under pressure copy

My youngest son turned sixteen this week and I made him lemon brownies because he asked for white cake.

No, I actually haven’t lost my mind, really. My youngest child is my gentle child and he requires special listening skills to understand what he is saying.

For his birthday we were trying to get the extended family together for dinner. It is always challenging to bring all of us together. While I am blessed that my husband and I are together after all these years, not all of the family is so lucky.  When you bring broken people and fractured families together, there are lots of jagged edges and pokey-places with which to rub one another wrong.

When my son said he wanted white cake, what he was really saying was that he wanted something that everyone liked and no one would complain about, regardless of whether or not he wanted that. His perceptiveness touched me, as it always does, but I didn’t want to make him a white cake. He’s the kind of person who risks going too far in accommodating others, so far he could easily get out of balance. I know the terrain far too well.

So I pushed. I said, ‘I know that’s what you think everyone else would like, but if you didn’t have to worry about anyone else, what would you want?’ ‘Chocolate or lemon’, he said. When I suggested Lemon Brownies, his eyes lit up in that special quiet way they do when someone actually takes the time to understand him.

So he got a whole pan of lemon brownies that he didn’t have to share with anyone else (though he has anyway) and I got that special boy-hug that said ‘I know mom loves me; she listens.’


P1070250Lemon Brownies 

  • 1 (18 ounce) boxes lemon cake mix
  • 1 (3 ounce) packages lemon gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Directions:  Grease and flour a 13″ X 9″ pan. Preheat oven to 325°F Beat together the dry cake mix, dry Jello powder, oil, and eggs. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 325F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and punch holes all over the cake with a toothpick. Combine icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spoon over cake. Cool and cut into squares.


Not only did I make brownies, I got a some writing done; in all a fairly productive week:

Words of Fiction Written:  11,200 words on 3 different fiction projects

Words of Nonfiction written:  2500

Blog Posts Prepared:  11 posts for four different sites

Emails written:  61 emails, about  3000 words 

Social Media Interactions:  45, about 1200 words

Articles Read (Research and writing craft/business): 10 research and 25 craft/business  

Web site Formatting: work on 3 different sites.

This weeks total words: 17,900


writer's sketch book

I’ll leave you with a couple new entries from my Writer’s Sketchbook, just a few observations from around the neighborhood.

  • The mild neutrality of her words might have fooled those who cared not to know better. But that she should sound so very calm when she should not screamed in ear-shattering tones.
  • It was difficult to know what to make of his rumpled shirt and  stained pants. He was either too confident to care or too clueless to recognize the impression he made.


I would love to hear what you think. Please have your share of the conversation in the comments!








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    • Eileen on August 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Wow! Impressively busy week and a family gathering to top it all off. You definitely deserve that special hug. 🙂 My youngest is similar–sweet, soft-spoken, always wishing to keep the peace. You definitely have to learn to listen to what they mean rather than just what they say.

    1. Thanks, Eileen. I agree, listening isn’t just waiting for your turn to talk, it is really focusing and seeking to understand what the other person is communicating.

    • Suzan on August 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I loved your blog today. The lemon brownies look and sound good. It was nice to get a quick pic of your son also. He sounds like a very sweet young man. Not like most young men want to hear that. My almost 5 year old grandson brought me in a flower yesterday and apologized for the group making me cry. I got a hug also. He makes me smile. Thanks for sharing.

    1. He is a very sweet guy, but you’re right, I ended up settling on the word ‘gentle’ because ‘sweet’ doesn’t settle as well with teen boys. LOL

      Your grandson sounds like a dear little guy! Hug him for me!

        • Suzan on August 21, 2014 at 11:21 am

        Thank you very much I will. I may just show him your photo on here also so he knows who it’s from. He starts preschool the middle of September and I don’t know if I’m excited or not. He’s bored here at home with me since I don’t have the energy for all these grandkids and he really needs to get out and do things with the other kids (not his siblings) and learn what grandma no longer has the patience to try and teach him. He does get his feelings hurt easily tho. Come September I’ll have one in high school, one in second grade, one in preschool a couple mornings a week, and one three year old still at home with me while their parents work. (we live together also) Two mornings a week with only one grandchild by my side yahoo, woohoo, yippee. As you can tell I need more adult companionship to balance out my wonderfully childish disposition after 35 years of children and only working outside the home about 35% of the time. Thanks for helping me to enjoy my spare (cough, cough) time and to relax each evening with your novels and of course many others. Reading is my preferred choice for entertainment.

    • There and Back Again - Random Bits of Fascination on September 1, 2014 at 5:55 am

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