Archive | March, 2013


31 Mar

Did you ever wonder what Easter has to do with a bunny, colored eggs, candy and baskets? There are a lot of theories and explanations. It really doesn’t matter much to me because, I’ll use any excuse to make cute cupcakes, dress up the dogs, and eat massive quantities of little foil wrapped chocolate eggs. And don’t forget that sadistic ritual of biting the heads off the poor little chocolate bunny. It’s all good.

I decided to do a bit of research on the Easter Bunny and share my findings. The most difficult part of this post was wrestling the squirmy 80 lb puppy in order to put the bunny ears on him for a quick photo op. Every time I managed to get the ears on, the two seconds it took to grab the camera, afforded him enough time to swipe at the fuzzy sequenced headdress and chew on it. This went on for fifteen minutes and about twenty failed blurry attempts. Old Prince was more cooperative, but his younger counterpart still wanted to rip up those ears.

“I’m not a bunny, Lady! Gimme those ears.”

“The things I’ll do for a little doggie treat!”


Saturday Shout-out: To All My PEEPS

30 Mar

A “Hello, Happy almost Easter to all my PEEPS ( Yes, literally Peeps) out there.” I wanted to share my recent Easter exploits with you. Some of you may know already that I love to bake, be creative and share with others. Yesterday, when I was reading one of the many blogs that I follow, the hapsters were going to hand out plastic Easter eggs with candy inside and a happy message on the outside to strangers. I thought that was a great idea. I usually like to share my baking with people I know, but what about with strangers? So I decided to give it a try. Of course, I still had to share with friends and acquaintances.

Little Anna was thrilled to pick out a pink bunny cupcake and a yellow one for her brother John.

Reese popped in Laura Moore Fine Art Studios while I was visiting. He was hungry.

As I strolled around the Square in downtown McKinney, I found a young girl playing on the old court house steps. She asked her mom, and was my first random bunny cupcake recipient. Look at that big smile!

Then, I stopped at the Garret Gallery and Miss Gail was sitting there. We chatted and she was pleased to have a treat for later.

My next stop was my home-away-from-home, Snug on the Square. Tommy, the wandering troubadour was playing his guitar out front. I felt bad because as soon as I sat down beside him, one of his strings broke. He wound the string up and tucked it away and said, “That’s ok, now it’s a five string guitar.”

I shared a couple more cupcakes inside. T.J. enjoyed his cupcake. I only had eight left, so I decided to save the rest for Fire Station #1 on my way home.

Firefighter Boyd gladly accepted the last batch (litter, herd) of bunnies, thus completing my random
act of cupcake kindness.


For more useless (TMI) information about bunnies, her are some fun facts from Animal Corner.

In the wild, the Doe (female rabbit) can produce a litter of around 3 – 7 young at one time. These litters of young rabbits (called ‘kittens’) are usually produced at 5 week intervals from January through to late summer. Kittens are born in underground burrows and are suckled by the female.

Useful information about Rabbits

Rabbits are not rodents. Rabbits are lagomorphs. Other lagomorphs include hares and pikas.

A well cared for house rabbit that has been spayed or neutered early in life has a life expectancy of 8 to 12 years of age.

The gestation period of a rabbit is about 30 – 33 days.

A group of rabbits is called a herd.

A group of rabbits lives in a warren.

The male rabbit is called a buck. The female is called a doe and has 6 teats.

The doe is larger. The young are called kittens and as with baby cats, their eyes open at about 10 days of age, their ears at about 12 days.

The smallest breed of rabbit is the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit which weighs just about 1 kilogram.

The largest breed of rabbit is the Flemish Giant Rabbit which weighs in at about 8 kilograms. – twice the size of the average cat.

The rabbit is by nature a night browsing herbivore, resting in its burrow by day.

Rabbits are naturally communal animals.

Male rabbits should not be kept together as they are likely to fight.

Does and Bucks should be housed separately for obvious reasons. (You could be over-run with baby rabbits).

Rabbits front teeth (incisors) grow continuously, like toenails.

Rabbits are vegetarians and have a great ability to digest fibre that the rest of us cannot.

Rabbits feet are supposed to be lucky!

A Good Friday

30 Mar

It was a good Good Friday. How was your day? I got up at the crack of dawn. Well, there really wasn’t a crack, as much as a full-fledged right smack in your face sunshine pouring in the windows morning. My plan for the day was to get up early and start baking a zillion cute cupcakes with the marshmallow Peep bunnies on top. Everybody loves them.

It was a massive production. While the mixer was blazing with the first batch of yellow cake mix, the oven was reaching 350 degrees. I put paper cupcake liners in 2 pans of a dozen, and started pouring in batter, adding a teaspoon of cherry pie filling in the center. While the cupcakes were baking, I started mixing up the cream cheese frosting, adding a little green food coloring. Then another batch of chocolate cupcakes.

Several hours and 48 cupcakes later, I placed pink and yellow Peeps on top of each one, using a pretzel stick instead of a toothpick to secure the bunny. Then I put a dab of frosting on a mini marshmallow for a bunny tail.

The first dozen went over to Fire Station 5. I took a couple over to Kerri and Justin at Papa Murphy’s when I picked up my pizza for dinner later. Six more went next door to the triplets and the family. Then, it was 2 pm and time for my senior art group. They enjoyed the special bunny treats. Who wouldn’t?

There are a few more unfrosted cupcakes left, but I’ll frost them fresh in the morning and find a few more folks to share them with.” Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven.”

Oh yes! I always like to make a funny face with the mixes. What do you think?





Theme Song Thursday: Smiling Face

29 Mar

This morning, while making my brownies for our tennis match, I did what every good baker does. I made a funny face with the brownie mix. This one looked like a smiley face. But then, when I moved the measuring cup that had the canola oil in it, it left this ring on the cutting board. Another smiley face. Eerie! So, it was a SMILEY FACE kinda day.

What better song for theme song Thursday than James Taylor’s, “Whenever I see Your Smiling Face.” ( I had to smile myself….) Everyone, sing along!



Rights reserved to James Taylor.

Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself
Because I love you (Yes, I do)
And when you give me that pretty little pout
It turns me inside out
There’s something about you, baby (I don’t know)

Isn’t it amazing a man like me
Can feel this way
Tell me how much longer
It will grow stronger every day
Oh, how much longer

I thought I was in love
A couple of times before
With the girl next door
But that was long before I met you
Now I’m sure that I won’t forget you
And I thank my lucky stars
That you are who you are
And not just another lovely lady
Sent down to break my heart

Isn’t it amazing a man like me
Can feel this way
Tell me how much longer
It can grow stronger every day
How much longer

No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today

Wednesday: Words of Wisdom and Poetic Ponderings

27 Mar

Animals are creatures of habit. Our two dogs seem to magically know when it’s time to eat, even though they can’t tell time. Or can they? I understand that they wake up with the morning sun, but how do they know when it’s dinner time? Maybe they run over to the microwave and see when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3, and then they know it’s time for dinner. Perhaps with their super-sensitive dog ears and extreme canine intelligence, they can hear the tick-tick-ticking of the clock, and they have counted the 28,800 seconds since their 7am breakfast. This too may be possible. I know this because, it never fails, somewhere between 2:59 and 3:01pm, two big pointy noses get up-close and personal and start whining until they get their dinner.

So, the old saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie,” doesn’t really apply at my house. My dogs don’t lie around. One’s busy checking the time on microwave, and the other is counting the seconds till dinner.


What The Dog Perhaps Hears by Lisel Mueller

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without
a decibel of effort,
whether in autumn, when the trees
dry up their wells, there isn’t a shudder
too high for us to hear.

What is it like up there
above the shut-off level
of our simple ears?
For us there was no birth cry,
the newborn bird is suddenly here,
the egg broken, the nest alive,
and we heard nothing when the world changed.

Tenacious Tuesday

27 Mar

Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.
Thomas Huxley

I like to think of myself as a tenacious person, but only in the positive, fun-lovin’ kinda way. The Webster definition is pretty accurate. I believe in a strong cohesive family. When I make a friend, we are not easily pulled apart. I tend to be a little clingy, quite persistent, and always seem to be in search of something valued. (I just haven’t found it yet.)

tenacious: te·na·cious\tə-ˈnā-shəs\
1 a : not easily pulled apart : cohesive
b : tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance
2 a : persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

b : retentive

synonyms see strong

My tenacity often gets me into trouble, but sometimes it’s a source of serendipitous good fortune. In other words, I tend to talk to strangers and have made some great friends as a result.

Today, I was meeting my Facebook friend Linda for coffee at Snug on the Square? She wanted to see some of my hand painted wine glasses and ornaments, so I brought a few examples and some photos to show her. A lady came in and sat alone at the table next to us. She noticed the glittery ornaments and leaned over and said, “Those are beautiful.” Linda turned around and said, “You should see these wine glasses and vases.”

We invited Jane to join us. We made our introductions and chatted a while. A few minutes later, Jane’s friend Sherry arrived and joined us. Linda left for an appointment, and Jane, Sherry, and I were immersed in conversation when another of her friends, Vicky walked in. To make a long story even longer, four complete strangers spent over an hour exchanging stories and becoming friends. Jane mentioned that she had always wanted to learn to paint, but was too afraid. I invited her to join our senior art group at Towne Creek on Fridays. She was thrilled. We exchanged emails and phone number, vowing to keep in touch, and Jane plans on coming to our art group.

Sometimes a tenacious hello and serendipitous meeting leads to meeting interesting people and making new friends. Just call me Tenacious Toni!




Monday:Don’t Mess with Richard Marx

25 Mar

I’m fairly new to this blogging and tweeting thing, but there is one thing I am positive about. That is…NO ONE has the right to slam another person or impugn their character without provocation or cause. I’ve never even used the word impugn before, but it seemed appropriate here. I had to look up the spelling.

My son sent me a link to this guy, Ted, in Chicago, who writes, blogs, and tweets about a lot of things that he even admits, he knows little or nothing about. So, why is he doing this? Well, I guess media, companies and people are willing to pay others to do their writing for them. So, why should I believe anything I read?

Ted continued to carry on a twitter slamming of the musician, Richard Marx. Richard challenged him to meet and explain how he could insult someone’s character without ever meeting, (Good for you, Richard!) Well, check the link. Ted didn’t know Richard as a good father and family man. Richard’s kids didn’t go trick-or-treating at his house. I could write about that. Richard’s mom lived across the street from me, and I got to see a very kind, loving family. So, don’t mess with Richard Marx!

I digress. Back to Ted. His quote was, “Richard Marx is shameless.” My son knows I’m a big Richard Marx fan. I always enjoy his soulful ballads and easy listening music. The words to his songs always tell a story, and not a bunch of repetition like, “Baby, baby, baby. Oh baby, baby, baby.” No offense Justin B., but how can a song go on forever with just one word? But, I’d never go and write about this young man’s character. He’s a musician/singer, and he has adoring fans, and a mother, and a family. I don’t care for some of his songs, but that’s just me. An opinion is just that, an opinion.

You should check out this link and find out what you should NEVER write. As my mother used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I think common courtesy, manners, and ethics should extend to the Internet, writing, television, and other media. It’s our duty… actually, it should be our privilege, to use our words wisely when we share with the world. What do you think?

Richard Marx then and now. And yes, I own these albums.



Sunday:Unsung Heroes

25 Mar

Weekends are suppose to be relaxing, aren’t they? But, what about all those little tasks that must get done, yet go unnoticed. All the laundry must get washed, dried, folded, hung, and put away. Meals are made, dishes are washed, floors are cleaned. Someone has pick up after the kids or the dogs. It’s like a little fairy comes in and takes care of all that housework with a blink and a nod. It all goes unnoticed by everyone, except of course, for that little fairy that does it all, week in and week out, month after month, year after year.

So, after a long week, and an even longer weekend, maybe take a few seconds to thank the little housework fairy at your house that usually goes unappreciated. If YOU are that person, well, pat yourself on the back and give yourself a special treat. You deserve it. After all, “Tomorrow is another day,” and it all starts over again.



Saturday: Sharing the Shadows

23 Mar

A short and sweet post. Sharing my Saturday, my poem and my photos. Have a great weekend.

Standing in the darkness
The sun begins to set
The shadows paint a picture
A timeless silhouette.



Frivolous Friday

23 Mar

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

What better way to spend a gloomy grey Friday morning than snuggled in a warm blanket with a cup of tea and an old movie. I’m a sucker for the romantic classics. This morning, while checking my emails and flipping through the channels on TV, I ran across “Pride and Prejudice”. Oh no! Not that one! It’s like an addiction. I couldn’t look away!

If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it fifty times, maybe more. It doesn’t matter, I was hooked. Do you have a movie that you just have to watch every time it’s on? Unfortunately, I have too many.

The second I saw the delightful Elizabeth Bennett tormenting the handsome Mr. Darcy, the rest of my morning was consumed. Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen exquisitely portrayed the main characters of Jane Austen’s two hundred year old romantic tale that takes place in the class-conscious English society of the 1800’s. (Sounds like a book report, doesn’t it?)

To summarize: Girl meets boy, she thinks he’s a rich, arrogant snob and he thinks she is a crude, willful girl with irresistible charm. They argue in the rain, realize their mistake, then fall in love and live happily ever after. What’s not to like?

Every now and then, we need to indulge ourselves with a frivolous Friday.