Thursday, May 27, 2010


I will be making cupcakes for an 8 year old's birthday party on June 5th and decided to test drive a recipe and some decorating ideas yesterday. The heat and humidity weren't frosting friendly and neither was my shortage of time. I found myself at 5:00 still working on cupcakes with a load of clothes tumbling in the dryer that were going to need hanging or folding, dinner still to be made and I was in desperate need of a shower before leaving the house for my knitting group at 6:30.  Photobucket

Most of my ideas and the altered directions to boxed cake mix came from Hello, Cupcake or What's New, Cupcake. (Books and website here)

This idea was really cute but didn't travel well, at least not on a plate. The cupcakes have pink icing piped in a swirl pattern to resemble the ends of a skein of yarn. Placing them on their sides and attempting to move the plate caused the top heavy cupcakes to fall over onto their crowns. This photo was hastily staged before I left the house. The cupcakes were transported upright on the plate without the yarn "label" and reassembled at the knit shop. When the cupcake liners were tucked completely inside the label, the overall effect was much nicer.
I should have taken my camera to the store to get a better picture and also to get Nancy's happy reaction.

Next are sunflower cupcakes with Oreo centers. I tinted icing yellow using gel color, then stuck a toothpick into orange gel coloring and stuck the toothpick into the bowl of yellow in 5-6 places. I didn't mix the orange in, just transferred it all to a decorating bag and let squeezing the bag to create the color striations in the petals.
Blueberry or cherry tart, anyone? By now the frosting was really getting warm. Between the heat of the kitchen and my hands, I'm surprised I didn't have icing soup. This many M&Ms on top of a cupcake is probably a bit much for an adult, but a child would like them, and a few on a dessert table to set the mood and supply decoration would be cute. The icing was tinted pale yellow and cocoa powder was added to make the pie dough color.
Flat lattice strips would have looked better on the tart tops, but time was against me. My fellow knitting buddies didn't mind. Once the cupcake is in your mouth, you tend to forget the design flaws. Photobucket

With five cupcakes to go and no time left, I piped a rosette of white icing (the color is off in this photo, the frosting really is pure white) onto Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures, sprinkled some decorations on top and stuck them on frosted cupcakes.
I think a plate of these candies made to look like little cupcakes would be cute all by themselves.

I have a dozen cupcakes still undecorated. Whether they get another experimental treatment or just get a glop of frosting depends on the temperature, my patience and Colton's cooperation today. If you don't need frosting but would like a chocolate cupcake fix, c'mon over. The coffee is always on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A frog goes into a bank.....

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack.

"Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday."

Patricia looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patricia explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.
The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed. Very confused, Patricia explains that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, " There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?"

The bank manager looks back at her and says...

"It's a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan, his old man's a Rolling Stone."


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A funny that got funnier

This past Thursday I thought I would take a video of Colton playing on his floor gym and send it in an email to his mommy at work. Originally I didn't intend to share it here. What happened was funny to us, but not necessarily funny to the world (oh wait....I forgot about America's Funniest Videos! ) The clip isn't that long, and the key to this post occurs 7 seconds in to the video. Be sure to have your sound on.

Ok, so what we had was one of those moments you just can't predict would happen. Miraculously I maintained my composure while the camera was recording. I didn't shake or snort, both of which have been heard on other clips when something strikes me as funny.

Kim (Mommy) thought it was funny. I sent this to her mom later that day. Yesterday Kim spoke to her mom who commented that she received the picture that I sent, and that Colton looked like a great aunt on Kim's mother's side of the family. So much so, in fact, that Kim's mom sent the clip to the great aunt who is in her late 80s.

Kim asked her mom if she had played the video or just looked at the still shot. Yes, her mom played the video. Had she listened to it? No, she hadn't. Kim's mom is hard of hearing and needs the volume turned up all the way to hear things. Their computer is in the bedroom and since Kim's dad was already asleep, her mom had the volume off.

Kim began to laugh and told her mom to go play the video with the sound on while Kim waited on the phone. Mom thought the video was funny, but what was funnier still is that she sent this to her aunt and told her that Colton is just like her! 


We can only hope the aunt has a good sense of humor or maybe she doesn't have her volume on either!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Words hurt, and you can't eat them

I've hurt someone and I am deeply ashamed of myself. I've apologized but I don't know that the person will ever being willing to accept it. I'm not sure I would if the situation was reversed.

There was absolutely no excuse for what I did. It wasn't said to face to face in the heat of a passionate argument over a contested issue. That would have been bad enough. I was critical of behavior that was none of my business, and said it to another person, not intending for this to be heard. That makes me mean and stupid. I'm not advocating being cautious as a pass to being mean, but not being careful that the person wouldn't hear me...does that show how out of control I was? 

My dad used to say "just because other people are nasty, you don't have to be nasty too". I usually live this way but fell into an ugly pool of snide commenting. Even though I've climbed out of that pool and tried to shake all residue of snideness off, the stink is still there.

Have you ever done something like this? Besides regret for hurting someone's feelings and shame for my behavior, I am lost as to what to do. I don't think there is any physical act I can perform to make this person feel better and I'm sure they don't want to hear anything more from me for quite a while, if ever again.

Beating myself up hasn't helped either of us, so I am making a concentrated effort to be a better, kinder and more patient person who remembers her father's advice. I'll get back to light and hopefully amusing stories in my next post. Give yourself a hug today and smile at a stranger. Maybe that smile will brighten the day of someone who was undeservedly hurt, and a smile will look good on you and on your soul.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Humor for Tuesday

After a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced: 
'Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain. Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to Toronto. The weather ahead is good, so we should have a smooth, uneventful flight. So sit back,relax  and...OH, MY GOD!' 
Silence  followed!

Some  moments later the captain came back on the intercom.
'Ladies and  gentlemen, I'm sorry if I scared you . While I  was talking to you, a flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my  pants!' 
One Irish passenger yelled, 'bye  jezis you  should see the back of mine! '
Have a little smile today and don't go through your day assuming the worst. Photobucket

Monday, May 17, 2010

How the fairy tale really ends....

I am at the cottage and should be cleaning. Hmmm, not exactly feeling like a princess here which leads to today's post. Did we all buy into the Happily Ever After endings in all the fairy tales we read as kids? Worse yet, did we perpetuate these falsehoods by reading them to our daughters, nieces and grandchildren? Oh the shame! Photobucket

On to the revealing photos of how the fairy tales really end. View them and weep.


Snow White

Little Red Riding Hood
Sleeping Beauty
Belle (from Beauty and the Beast)
And perhaps the saddest, scariest of all, 
The Little Mermaid

Does anyone know of a story where the heroine is over fifty, overweight, overwrought and overtired? No? Come watch me clean and write about me. Give my story a happy ending and please, please, please write in some magic where this cleaning gets done by elves or fairies or maybe an all male cleaning crew that worships older women.  I love a happy ending, don't you?

Photobucket Photobucket 1sm352sweep Pictures, Images and Photos SMILEY CLEANING TOILET Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, already???

I only blinked twice and it is Friday already? Geesh!

I had the sound issue on my computer fixed, discovered it disconnected once more and had it fixed again. I broke a favorite baking dish that was older than I am. We had rain, wind and dampness for three days that felt like a month. In other words, I was crabby.

Colton was here Wednesday and Thursday to shine some light on the otherwise gray days. Photobucket

I'm behind on blog reading and writing and I don't say that as if this is a chore because it isn't. It is something I miss when my days get hectic or when my ideas run dry.  This weekend I plan to remedy all of that, but first I need to run a list of errands so that my free time will truly be free. Until I can check in on everyone's blogs later and see what I've been missing, I leave you with this clip of  The Elusive Thumb.  Being a baby is hard work when your arm doesn't cooperate! Photobucket

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day card, a Sizzix project

I used a Sizzix die to cut the components for this card for Colton to give to his mommy. It wasn't difficult, but it was time consuming. The most time consuming part may have been selecting 12 photos and scaling them down to size.
The card should have been flatter. I don't know if it was the cardstock I used for the pop up inside, or the rubber bands. I weighted this down overnight but to no avail . A ribbon tie helped.
There are three rubber bands inside this pop up. Directions called for #16 rubber bands....whatever they may be....but I used what I had. I'll look for #16 bands the next time I am in an office supply store.
The hands are a recent punch purchase. I think it will get a lot of use.
The pop up holds 12 photos. I used a heavy duty double sided tape to construct the pop up. That part was easy but the tape did make a mess of my scissors which needed cleaning later.
The pop up rotates, thanks to a base held onto the card by a brad. After photos were added, the pop up was attached to the base by double sided tape.

Click here is a link to view this ball on the Sizzix site. The video will show you how the pop up should look when compressed.

I will definitely make this card again, but not for just anyone. It was a bit of work and would be costly to mail. Both of Colton's parents loved it, but who wouldn't with Colton as the subject!  Photobucket

Friday, May 7, 2010

Remember the Little Rascals?

It is okay to say you've only heard of them or watched them in reruns as I did.
Have you ever wondered what happened to them?
There is a rumored Our Gang curse, but I don't subscribe to that notion. First of all, I don't want to believe that children were/are ever cursed, and secondly, the rumor has some false info in it.
Here is the info that is going around in emails. Black font represents the email text, blue is added detail or correction from other sources.
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Alfalfa:  Carl Switzer was shot to death at age 31.
True. According to OUR GANG - LIFE AND TIMES OF THE LITTLE RASCALS by MALTIN AND BANN, Switzer was wounded in Jan 1958 when someone shot him as he was getting into a car. Then the next year, a fatal shot was delivered in a struggle over $50 with an ex-partner in a big game hunting business.
Chubby:  300-pound Norman Chaney died at age 22 following an operation.
True. His death was actually at 18, not 22 and it followed surgery for a glandular condition.
Buckwheat:  William Thomas died at age 49 of a heart attack. (wow I never knew that buckwheat was a man!!)
True. He died in Los Angeles in 1980 after a successful life as a film lab technician in Hollywood.
Darla Hood:  The Our Gang leading lady contracted hepatitis and died at age 47.
True. She died on June 13, 1979.
Brisbane:  Kendall McCormas, known as Breezy Brisbane, committed suicide at age 64.
True. The correct spelling of his name is McComas. According to published reports, he gave up show business to be an electrical engineer at the U.S. Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, California. He committed suicide two weeks before his retirement in 1981.
Froggy:  William Robert Laughline was killed in a motor scooter accident at age 16.
True. Laughline was killed in a motor scooter accident near Huntington Beach, CA in the early 1950’s
Mickey Daniels:  He died of liver disease at 55.
True. His real name was Richard Daniels, Jr.  He died alone in a hotel of cirrhosis of the liver on August 20, 1970.
Stymie:  Mathew Bear led a life of crime and drugs. He died of a stroke at age 56. 
True and False. After leaving the Our Gang series as a child, Stymie reportedly acted through high school. He became addicted to drugs, especially heroin and spent much of his young adult years in an out of jail. In the 1980's got clean of drugs and both went back into acting and traveling doing drug abuse lectures. He died of Pneumonia.
Scotty Beckett:  He died at age 38 following a brutal beating. 
Unproven. According to Maltin and Bann's book, "The last 10 years of his life were filled with unpleasant stories of divorce, violence, drugs and arrests."  He checked into a Hollywood nursing home on May 8, 1968, needing medical attention after suffering a serious beating.
He died two days later.
Although pills and a note were found, no conclusion was made by the coroner as to the exact cause of death. According to the Internet Movie Database, he died of an overdose of barbiturates.
Wheezer:  Robert Hutchins was killed in an airplane accident at age 19. 
True. According to, he was killed during the last thirty minutes of his basic training at the Merced Army Air Corps field in California when his plane crashed on landing.
Pete, the pup:  He was poisoned by an unknown assailant.
Unproven. There were actually several different dogs used through the years as Pete the Pup, the canine star of films. There are several reports that the original Pete the Pup was poisoned by someone who gave him meat laced with glass. There is also an urban legend that Pete the Pup was buried with Alfalfa but we've found no evidence of that and Pete the Pup died long before Alfalfa.
Alfalfa loved hunting and apparently there is a dog on his tombstone that reflects that so that may have been a part of what prompted the urban legend about Pete the Pup.

Spanky:  Robert Blake was accused of murdering his wife. I did not know that was Robert Blake! Did any of you?  Wow!!!
False.  First, Robert Blake did not play Spanky in the Our Gang series. Spanky was played by George McFarland who went on to become a Forth Worth, Texas businessman before his death of a heart attack in 1993.
Robert Blake, who was cleared of charges of killing his wife, did appear in some of the later Little Rascals
episodes and played Mickey.

According to crime writer David Lohr, there are some additions to the Our Gang death list:

Robert H. Young "Bonedust" (9/15/17 - 9/10/51)
Died in a hotel fire, which started when he fell asleep smoking in bed.

Dorothy Dandridge "Dorothy" (11/09/23 9/08/65)
Committed suicide after an investment scheme caused her to go bankrupt.

Harold Switzer "Deadpan" or "Slim" - (1/16/25 - 4/14/67)
As was the case with his brother, Harold was also killed following a dispute with another man.

Darwood Kaye "Waldo" - (9/08/29 - 5/15/2002)
Killed by a hit and run driver while walking on the sidewalk.

Jay R. Smith "Jay R" - (8/29/15 - 10/05/2002)
Stabbed to death and left in the desert by a homeless man he had befriended.

Thomas Bond who played "Butch"
Bond is not mentioned in the eRumor, but just for the record, he died on 9/24/05 in Los Angeles of complications from heart disease, according to an Associated Press article on 9/25/05.  He was 79.

From the data above we find that 54% of the actors are still alive or lived to be at least 72 years of age. Also, 75% of the actors reached the average life expectancy at birth for persons of their time and 82% of the actors lived until at least their late 40s. This may not sound like much by modern standards, but it's a significant figure given that the average life expectancy at birth for most of the actors listed here was in the mid-50s range.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Once again, proof that only some of what we read on the internet is true. When there is a combination of truth, unconfirmed statements and unrecognized (to the reader) lies, it is often easy to believe all that you've read. I doubt anyone had ulterior motives in any of these falsehoods. Sadly, so many times childhood actors do have problems as adults which also may lead to one believing that in this curse.