Saturday, April 30, 2011


Just six more sleeps and then the paper comes down off the windows, . . .

. . . the front door opens, and a new Sacramento quilt shop will be born!

If you ever shop in the Sacramento area, now you'll have a new quilt shop to check out--and tell your friends about too! It's located in Town and Country Village off Fulton Avenue (not too far from I-80) just across the parking lot from the building that used to house William Glen (Goore's baby store is moving into that building very soon).

The grand opening is next Thursday. I can hardly wait!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I May Have Found My Soul Mate

Did you hear the news about the guy in the cow suit who robbed Walmart of 26 gallons of milk, which he then began handing out to customers right outside the doors of Walmart?

He wasn't apprehended right away though. No sir-eeee Bob. Police were called to a disturbance at a nearby McDonalds where they took him into custody. The news story doesn't say, but I like to think he was attempting to rob McDonalds of 26 hamburgers to hand out to people outside the restaurant. It makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it?

I think the guy must have a terrific sense of humor. Either that, or he's loony as all get out.

I just hope the judge is amused. And, of course, the guy has a udderly excellent defense: Mad cow disease.

You can read the whole story HERE.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sheepishly Ducky

A funny thing happened when I was scheduling that vacation week I took a couple weeks ago. I wanted to make sure I didn't schedule myself out the week of Administrative Professionals Day (formerly Secretaries' Day) because my office always does a week-long celebration and I didn't want to miss it. I mentioned that to our admin assistant and told her I was specifically taking the week before off. Well, it turned out I had my dates a bit off--there was actually a week BETWEEN my vacation and the week when Administrative Professionals Day was scheduled (which was today, by the way).

Well, I guess because I'm always so believeable and very rarely wrong, no one thought to check my calculations, because all of the plans to celebrate the occasion LAST week, a week early, were in place before I came back from vacation. Oops! No big deal though--it doesn't really matter WHEN they celebrate "our day," just as long as the bosses take a little time at some point in the year to think about all the stuff we do that helps them do what THEY do.

Our senior partner is an avid duck hunter. And goose hunter. And "anything with wings" hunter. So he came up with a plan to provide ducks and geese to a local Chinese restaurant so they could prepare a wonderful feast for our lunch last Thursday. And with that plan, came the theme of the week: DUCKS!

Our admin assistant is a creative genius, and not even ducks could set her off her stride. The first day, Monday, we came in to find we each had a new DUCK coffee cup with a gift certificate for a half day off. It was very clever--each cup was different and most of them matched our personalities. (Mine was a rubber duck swimming in a broken raw egg and shell. I figured it meant they saw me as cracked, but I was told it was more about the way I think outside the box.) How our admin assistant ever found over 20 different duck cups, I don't know but she's very good with that kind of thing!

The next day, Tuesday, we were treated to a delicious catered breakfast. Yum! There was so much food, we had it for breakfast and lunch for two days!

On Wednesday, we found a plastic "paint can" filled with bath products, and on top of the can was the rubber ducky in the photo above.

Thursday was the "fowl" Chinese lunch--which was much better than it may sound on oh so many levels. The admin assistant had arranged for us to play a duck trivia game too, which some people took much too seriously. We had to fill in the answers to ten or so questions about ducks. Well, since I know next to nothing about ducks, I went for laughs with stuff like "What's a female duck called?" My answer: "A cold duck." Surprisingly, I won a prize (photo below) of a canning jar filled with chocolate eggs and a duck full of bubbles for something like "most entertaining entry," which I suspect is much like the "class clown" designation in high school. But, hey, if it gets me chocolate, I'm not going to complain! Best of all though was that we got the rest of the day off after lunch--woo hoo!

On Friday, we ended the week of pampering with more pampering--a gift card to a local spa!

Yep, my office treats us really well, and I think that's why we don't mind working hard at what we do, and that in turns helps our bosses be successful at what they do. And besides what the office did for us last week, my own boss gave me a beautiful planter with two different orchids and some wonderful bath goodies today. And that reminds me--Rubber Ducky's waiting for me in the bath. Gotta go!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I was wishing tonight that someone would come along and just slap me and tell me to quit messing around and get back to sewing. For some reason, I just haven't felt very motivated lately. In fact, since around the time I redecorated the bathroom and cleaned up the Sweat Shop a couple of weeks ago, I've been loath (a good word that's not used nearly often enough!) to go in there and do anything that would mess up the space again. Really, though, I'm not sure if it's really an underlying concern about messing up the Sweat Shop or simply a lack of motivation.

Oh, sure, I've BEEN in there. I've SAT in there and looked around. I've even sat in there and flipped through magazines. But I haven't done anything at all creative really. Just sat. And looked. And thought. And then I've left, shutting the door behind me.

On Sunday, I zipped up a few seams to make a backing for the Thimbleberries basket applique quilt and took that monster out on the patio to pin it for quilting. I thought maybe the quilting drought was over then, but no. I soon found out--when I had absolutely ZERO inclination to set up the Juki I use for quilting--that I was no closer to actually DOING anything than I had been before.

Do you ever feel like that? The nearest way I can describe it is quilter's block mixed with a little bit of boredom.

So tonight, when no one came along and slapped me, I decided to just sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. And I made a little bargain with myself. "Self," I said, "Just pin the mini quilt, and then you can go do something else with the knowledge you accomplished a little something tonight." So I did--I pinned the mini quilt. And because that only took about 20 minutes, I got the Juki out and cleaned it and set it up for quilting. And then, without really thinking too much about it, I actually STARTED quilting!

Imagine that!

Well, I'm not done, by any means, but at least I've made a start. And I think that making a START is at least half the battle, don't you? Because once I've started, then it really isn't that far until I finish--whatever it is, however long it will take, I know it really isn't that far until I finish.

And then I just need to remember to start again, because sitting, looking, and thinking just isn't enough.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Of Kids, Kats, and Kings

I have a mish-mash of stuff to talk about tonight. Kids first--actually only ONE kid. I have a new video Soccer Son uploaded to YouTube. Longer, better, impressive--I'd think that even if I wasn't his mom. He filmed it on the Sacramento State University campus.

Seeing how good he is with his feet, I don't expect you'd be surprised to know he was in the breech position at birth and had to be delivered C-section.

Speaking of soccer, did you see on the news a couple days ago where a soccer team won a HUGE tournament and accidentally dropped the trophy from the top level of a bus and crushed it? See, those guys just aren't any good with their hands. If they'd been holding the trophy with their TOES, it never would have happened!

Stitch is laying here on the desk with his head on my hand, so it's kind of hard to type. He keeps wanting to lay on the keyboard. Last week he started sneezing and sneezing, so Hubby took him to the vet on Friday and we learned he has an upper respiratory bacterial infection. He received a major antibiotic shot and he's been slowly feeling a bit better day by day, but he's still a little tired and a bit sneezy. It would be funny to watch the sneezing if I didn't know he wasn't feeling very well! Even when he's feeling well, he likes to cuddle, and now that he's not feeling so good, he likes to cuddle even more.

How into this royal wedding stuff are you? I'm getting really tired of all the hype, and I just wondered whether I'm the only one who isn't at all excited. I've set up a little poll in my sidebar that will stay open for the next few days. Please vote if you get a chance--I'm curious.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit! I gotta go put Sneezy to bed now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Change of Plans

Sometimes bloggers are accused of only writing about happy stuff. The criticism there is that we bloggers create a rosy, happy picture of life that's unrealistic. And that's pretty much true, in a lot of ways. Consider, though, that blogging about the less happy stuff is kind of difficult. For one thing, who wants to read a bunch of bad or sad news? And more importantly--at least from the blogger's point of view--it's kind of hard to write about the less happy things in life without whining or ranting.

Anyway, it occurred to me that in the interests of "keeping it real," I'd tell you about our Easter. Remember that big Easter dinner I had planned to cook with all my family here? That was on Thursday, I think. On Friday, Soccer Son called me at work to tell me he had forgotten he and his Lovely-Wife-to-be-Someday were supposed to go to her parents' house for dinner. He suggested I have an Easter brunch. Or lunch. (Remember, at this point I had already shopped for and planned DINNER.)

On Friday night, Hubby told me the Wild Child was planning to go to Chico to spend time with her boyfriend over the weekend. He thought she might still be home Easter morning, though, and then leave around noon, so maybe lunch or brunch was a good idea after all. When I asked her, I found that yes, that was what she was thinking, except she wanted to leave for Chico right after work on Saturday night, which would mean completely missing Easter with us.

At that point, I cancelled Easter altogether. If my family didn't want to spend time together, I didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking when I could be sewing, reading, or just plain sleeping in.

Over the course of Saturday, Soccer Son petitioned feverishly for some kind of Easter get together. He's a very traditional kid when all's said and done. He came by our house before his football game and told me how much he wanted to spend time with us on Easter. He even offered to help with the cooking. I told him I'd think about it. He pressed again later in the evening at the BYOE party.

As it turned out, I made Easter lunch. It wasn't what I had originally planned. In fact, I served a salad, ham and cheese sandwiches on ciabatta rolls, and spicy Mexican corn. Low key and not too work intensive. But it was a nice time to visit with my family--minus the Wild Child--and that's really what's important.

So, as you can see, life in our household isn't perfect--far from it. But it's not bad. And really, it's much like everyone else's. I hope you had a happy Easter too, with or without the drama!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The BYOE Party

Tonight we went to the BYOE ("Bring Your Own Eggs") Party at Terry and Lisa's house and had tons of fun! Would you like to hear a little bit about it? First, I always feel it's a good idea to dress for every occasion. From head . . .

. . . to toe.

There was tons of good food to eat too. I brought egg rolls. Get it? EGG rolls? Ha ha ha! My sister-in-law brought an artichoke/spinach/veggie/cheese spread that was fantastic--I really need to get that recipe and share it with you! There were also prawns and cocktail sauce; salami, cheese, and crackers; celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower with a dip--really the list of yummy stuff goes on and on.

We staged our primary attack on the food table not long after we arrived, while we waited for a couple other families. After that, several boxes of egg dyes were opened and cups full of dye baths were prepared. THEN the fun began!

For some of us, the fun was found in making strict rules about when it was appropriate to dip eggs into multiple color baths and which colors should be first and last. For others, the fun seemed to come with cracked eggs and messes. Still others found fun in the "art" of the egg.

The next photos show some of our eggs. Hubby made the yellow one with the tongue sticking out; I made the orange bunny just above and to the right of Hubby's; and Soccer Son made the pinkish skeleton chick one. (I don't know what I did to him when he was a child that made him turn into such an obviously disturbed adult. Sheesh!)

Here are a few more we "created."

Soccer Son's Lovely-Wife-to-be-Someday had not created an egg but they arrived late because Soccer Son had a football game that started at 6 p.m., so they were just getting started with their eggs when we left the party. And yes, that rather disturbed looking blue/purple egg there on the left was one I made. I dunno, but maybe Soccer Son comes by his darker side naturally. By the time I finished mine, I decided it looked like some kind of Frankenstein chick.

Well, it's time to take off my ears and slippers and head to bed. The REAL Easter Bunny will be here soon, but he won't come if I'm still up. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Good Egg

As I'm writing this post, I have eggs on the stove in preparation for the BYOE party tomorrow night. And that started me thinking about writing about eggs.

A couple weeks ago, I walked into the kitchen where Hubby was preparing a salad for dinner, and on the stove was a small pot with two eggs boiling in about an inch of water. "What are you doing?," I asked him. "Hard boiling eggs for the salad," he replied. Well, I don't know ALL the ways to boil eggs, and I know there are several methods, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't one of them. Still, I could be wrong, so I held my tongue and didn't offer any advice--because it annoys him and he never takes it anyway. "How long do you cook them?," I asked. "I dunno. For a few minutes," he told me.

A little while later, I heard Hubby in the kitchen, talking to himself about the eggs. When I asked what was wrong, he told me that the first egg wasn't quite cooked. I'm not sure what happened to the second egg, but it wasn't in our salad.

When I was young, my mom taught me to boil eggs by putting them in a pan, covering them (about an inch over the tops) with room temperature water, bringing the water to a boil, and then covering the pot and turning off the heat. Wait 22 minutes and they're done. Since that time, I've always cooked them that way and I've never had any eggs undercooked or overcooked. How about you? What method do you use?

I also read on the internet today that to get the deepest color when dyeing eggs, it's best to wipe them with vinegar first before putting them in the color bath. I mentioned this tip to a friend and she told me she always cooks her eggs with a couple tablespoons of vinegar in the water. Needless to say, I'm planning to be the egg dyeing party queen tomorrow night, and with that in mind, I'll ask you: Do you have any other tips? What do you like to do when it comes to eggs and egg dyeing?

Friday, April 22, 2011


I don't know WHY it took me so long--it was like I had some mental block--but I FINALLY put the last border on the Thimbleberries basket/applique quilt tonight. I guess part of it was looking for the right fabric. I had a couple floral prints picked out, but in the end, I decided it looked best with something that was a bit plainer.

I think a couple of you suggested scalloping the last border and I thought that was a good idea, so I made that last blue border wide enough to do that to if it seems like a good idea when I get to quilting that part.

As for the quilting itself, well, I'd love to get it pinned this weekend, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find a good chunk of time for that little chore since it IS Easter weekend and there are things to do.

What do you have planned?

Did I tell you Hubby and I are attending a BYOE party on Saturday night at my friend Lisa's house? Yep, "BYOE" stands for Bring Your Own Eggs, and we'll be dyeing and decorating hard boiled Easter eggs--it should be fun!The food will be strictly appetizer/finger food, and I thought I'd try egg rolls again--but this time, I'll try not to fry my hand too.

I did some holiday food shopping at Trader Joe's tonight. Yes, I picked up the traditional Easter HAM, of course. Soccer Son, his Lovely-Wife-to-be-Someday, and the Wild Child will join us for dinner on Sunday. I'm also planning to make a green salad with chopped apples, onions, and nuts, sauteed green beans with mushrooms, and some kind of scalloped corn dish. Any thoughts on a recipe? I don't have one--just some general thoughts. And you know me--four ingredients is just fine. I grabbed a couple packages of frozen corn, a pint of heavy cream, and various shredded cheese blends--a smoked cheese blend sounded interesting, or I could go with a blend of pepper jack and other cheeses. So those things seemed like a good start, maybe. Again, though, if you have a corn dish you like, I'd welcome suggestions.

It's time to hop off to bed to dream about Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs. Thanks for stopping in to visit!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Customer Service

Recently I've had instances of both good and poor customer service, and because I've continued to think about these experiences off and on, I thought they were worth mentioning here.

When I was off work and re-doing one of my bathrooms last week, I bought a bathroom cabinet with an open bottom shelf that I thought would be the perfect place for a few small decorative touches. Among my errands one day was a stop at JoAnn's fabrics to look at what they had--specifically I was pretty sure I wanted some kind of faux ivy or similar greenery.

Right inside the store, I found an ivy "bush"--a thick stem with wired ivy branches. In the same floral section, I found ceramic tea cups--actually they were half cups meant to hang on a wall. I thought one would fit well on the open shelf with ivy "growing" out of it. Kind of like this:

Of course, during that shopping trip, I found several other things to add to my basket too. The most interesting part of the trip, though, was the checkout, where a friendly young man waited on me. I was pretty amazed when he asked if I planned to make an arrangement with the ivy and the cup; of course, he was right. Then I just about fell over dead on the floor when he asked if I would like them to cut the ivy branches off the stem or whether I had the cutters I needed to do that myself to construct the arrangement.

Okay, seriously, what cashiers ever think about their customers' purchases to that extent and then offer to help? Yes, quite often a cashier will ask what we're making, right? But to really be that curious and responsive to our needs? Amazing!

On the other hand, about three weeks ago I started getting several weird emails from Olde America Antiques. The subject lines made me suspicious, so I didn't open them. There had been a lot of news about hackers getting into the email databases of online companies and I wondered if that might have happened in this case. I accessed the company's website and contact information and emailed them to let them know I'd received odd-looking emails and ask whether they had experienced any problems with their email system.

It will be three weeks tomorrow since I emailed them and I haven't heard a word back. Normally I don't name names when I have a complaint about a merchant, and I wouldn't have this time except I've mentioned the company several times on my blog because I really like their products (they print vintage images on cotton). So, in this instance, I'll make an exception because you need to know that if you've ever ordered something from them, you may have received suspicious looking emails. Really, I don't know that there's any problem with the company's computer system but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry--just don't open anything that looks like it might not be legitimate. Good advice when it comes to any unsolicited emails, right?

As far as JoAnn's excellent customer service goes, if you're in the Sacramento area, visit their store on Sunrise Boulevard and you might be lucky enough to be waited on by the same young man. Too bad he doesn't get tips!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Upstairs, Downstairs

Have you been watching the new series on PBS's Masterpiece Theater? It takes place in London in the mid-1930s, a tumultuous turning point in modern history, and the house--the same house that "starred" in the original series--is now occupied by a diplomat and his wife.

Back when the original series was on in the early 1970s--the series that was set in the same house at the beginning of the 1900s--I was in high school and then I was a young adult, too busy with other things to watch television on a regular basis. Still, I caught bits and pieces of the series and have a vague recollection that I enjoyed it quite a lot. In fact, I've always enjoyed British television, so that's no surprise!

Anyway, seeing the new series started me thinking about the original series and whether it's available on DVD. Yep, isn't EVERYTHING?!

To buy all five seasons at one time was prohibitively expensive. The Wild Child checked NetFlix for me and they indicated there was a long wait for the first disc, so I took the plunge and ordered the first season--it arrived today. If it still holds my interest, maybe I can get the successive seasons through NetFlix or buy the rest, season by season.

How about you? Have you seen the new series? Did you watch the original series? What do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mad Skilz

It's been brought to my attention in the last couple days that Soccer Son, who recently purchased a video camera, has been filming and uploading videos of himself and his soccer skills to YouTube.

Pretty impressive, right?

If only these skills he has were transferrable to the corporate job market, I'd be one happy mama. You know the kind of job I mean, right? The kind that pays well with a benefits package that includes health care and retirement?

Seriously, at least health care, right? After all, those stairs look pretty steep, and going up and down them while juggling a soccer ball. . . . Well, no wonder my hair's turning gray.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What I Did on My Spring Vacation . . .

Thank goodness I woke up this morning feeling much, much better! Thanks for all your well wishes--that's probably what did the trick. Either that, or it was just one of those 24-hour bugs. In any event, I felt well enough today to get everything done that I'd planned.

I was able to get the bathroom put back together. Want a peek? It's too small a room to get a very good shot, but you can see a little bit from the doorway.

With that egg yoke yellow, there's just no way anyone can enter that bathroom in the morning and not instantly wake up, is there? It's a little crazy, but I think I like it. (To the right and out of the photo is the bath tub/shower combination. We keep our towels rolled up on top of that shelf that goes around three sides of the room about a foot below the ceiling. We've found it's the best way to extend our "storage" space!)

While I was taking photos, I thought I'd take one of the bookshelf I found at Goodwill the other day. I cleaned it up a little and put it in the Sweat Shop to hold some of my magazines--the ones I want to save intact--and some of my jelly roll and honey bun precuts. It's also a good spot for the two large button jars.

When I was puttering around in the Sweat Shop last night, one of the things I was trying to do was to clean off some space on that little desk you see to the left of the bookshelf. (That area used to be a closet, but I removed the doors and added more shelves.) I still have two baskets of patterns on the desk but at least there's a little more room now that I moved the magazines. (You can also see at least some of the mini basket quilt I'm working on up on the design wall.)

And another photo of the Sweat Shop--this one was taken near the doorway and just to the right of my chair and sewing machine. The white bread box on the table holds most of my charm packs (some with background and border fabrics), so I can easily look through what I have to pick out fabric for each month's Le Petite project.

No doubt I have a LOT of fabric, but it probably looks like I have more than I do--those shelves aren't very deep; only about 7". The room is about 9' x 9' and the shelves continue around behind my chair to the doorway (the shelves begin to the left of a window, which is just out of frame on the right). My father-in-law was kind enough to build them for me and I love being able to see what I have. It's kind of hard to get perspective, but the table is pretty much centered on the wall it's up against and extends into the room; the ironing station is around on the other side of the table.

Besides finishing up the bathroom and getting the Sweat Shop straightened up, I cleaned the rest of the house too, so now I can go back to work tomorrow with a clear conscience! (I even paid the bills--woo-hoo!) With all I did today, though, I'm pretty pooped, so I'm heading to bed for my beauty sleep. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sick Leave

Sadly, I don't have much to talk about this evening. Last night, before bed, I started feeling sick to my stomach and I've continued to feel ill and tired all day long, so all I've really done is sleep, read, and putter around in the Sweat Shop this evening, trying to better organize all my "stuff." (I really need to sew more and buy less, but at least I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that thought, am I?)

I still have to put the bathroom back in order and clean house on Sunday--and I sure hope I'm feeling better so I can get it all done before I have to go back to work on Monday! I'm feeling a bit better this evening, so I hope a good night's sleep will put me back on track.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Last Day

Friday was the last day of my vacation--if you don't count the weekend. I can't really put my finger on it, but for some reason, this vacation hasn't been quite as satisfying as most. My best guess is that the emphasis I put on relaxing and getting the "guest" bathroom redone made it a little boring maybe. So Friday I decided to try to fit several things into the day, and I made sure they involved getting out of the house for awhile.

The first thing on my list, before going out to play, was to finish painting the last section of the bathroom--the faux beadboard paneling needed a fresh coat of cream colored paint. And guess who helped me with that?

Somehow, he's gained a couple of new white spots!

After my chores were done, I headed out to JoAnn's to look for a couple things on my want list--like a new rotary cutter. And, of course, a trip to a quilt shop was most definitely on my list of vacation pastimes, as was visiting the Goodwill store that's next door to the quilt shop. After that? Home Goods. At some point, I'm sure I'll show you some of the odds and ends I purchased here and there, but I haven't taken any photos yet. I'll tell you, though, that I think the two finds I'm most excited about came from Goodwill: A tallish (50"), narrow (14"), wooden bookshelf and a cream-colored chenille bedspread (that I'll probably cut up and dye to use in projects). The grocery store and a quick stop at Chipotle for take out burritos for dinner rounded out the excusion.

Although Friday was the monthly Friday Nite Sew-In, I didn't "officially" participate this month, although I sure wasn't about to let my last vacation evening go by without doing some sewing. In fact, I worked a bit more on the mini I'm making.

I thought I was done with it--I'd added a blue and white checked border--but I think I must have been trying to rush it through because once I took a photo, I could see right away that it wasn't what I wanted. Tomorrow I'll "reverse sew" those borders and add a little bit of the background cream fabric all around. After that, probably a narrow border, maybe in the brown, and then something to finish it off. So it's getting close, but I'm not quite as "done" as I thought I was. It's funny how taking a photo can help us see things a little more objectively, isn't it?

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's That (Faux) Holiday Time of the Year Again

I don't mind holidays. In fact, I'm a huge, HUGE fan of two types of holidays: the ones that mean a day off from work, and the ones that mean some kind of home decorating is in order. The other holidays? Not so much. Mostly I don't even pay attention.

This year, though, I've heard a few mumblings about Patriots' Day. (NOT to be confused with Patriot Day, which is September 11th.) Around the same time, I heard more mumblings about the tax filing deadline being extended this year. And in my mind, I linked the two. Now this seemed really odd, because I'd never even HEARD of Patriots' Day before--what the heck is it, some sort of new holiday? So I looked it up on the internet (what did we DO before the internet?!), and I found it's a holiday in only a handful of states that is celebrated to commemorate a couple of Revolutionary War battles. Really? The Revolutionary WAR? Why am I only hearing about it NOW? And what does it have to do with the tax filing deadline?

As most of you here in the U.S. probably already know, the tax filing deadline was extended this year to April 18th (normally it's on April 15th). So, thinking the extended period had something to do with this Patriots' Day thing, I looked further, and this is where my research gets a little hinkey. Here's what Wikipedia says about Patriots' Day and the tax deadline--

"Tax Day occasionally falls on Patriots' Day, a civic holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and state of Maine, or the preceding weekend. When this occurs the tax deadline is extended by a day for the residents of Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. This is because the IRS processing center for these areas is located in Andover, Massachusetts, and the unionized IRS employees get the day off."

Now the weird thing: Patriots' Day is April 18th and so is the tax filing deadline. Huh?! What about those unionized IRS employees?

Of course, I then started wondering WHY the tax filing deadline was extended from Friday, April 15th, to Monday, April 18th, and guess what? It's yet ANOTHER holiday--Emancipation Day! Yep, a fairly new holiday, begun in 2005, that's celebrated only in Washington, D.C. Is that weird, or what? (And why does everyone back east get a couple of random "holidays" when all I get is a lousy extension on the tax filing deadline?!)

Oh, well, at least I have Administrative Professionals' Day to look forward to on April 27th. Now THAT's what I call a REAL holiday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Because You Just Can't Have Too Many Baskets . . .

Today was a little bit busy between painting (the sealer/base coat in the bathroom) and meeting friends for dinner, but I found a little time this evening for sewing.

Remember that first floral border piece I made for the Thimbleberries basket/applique quilt that I decided was too small? Well, you can't just let a cute little thing like that go to waste, so I built a basket for it. (Each of those half-square triangle pieces is a half inch finished--you can see the one inch grid on my cutting mat through the acrylic extension table.)

I'll probably spend a little more time in the next couple days adding to it--some borders, maybe an appliqued handle, and who knows what else? Our Thimbleberries Club is going to have an end-of-the-year drawing for some kind of prize, and we get an entry for each mini quilt we make and show--this will (eventually!) be my first for this year.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Uphill Struggle Through Mud

It felt like one of those days. You know the kind. Where everything suddenly seems to be much too hard? Where you feel like you're taking five steps forward only to take four steps back? Where you seriously think it would be much, much easier to just go back to bed and, if necessary, pretend illness?

Gran called me today, and of the four quilt class teaching slots I had booked this year, they need me to reschedule three of them because someone else wants those dates. I don't know if I really have that big a desire to teach, especially since a couple of those classes were hard to schedule in the first place. I guess I'll need to give it more thought.

Not long after Gran's call, I needed to run some errands. Before I left, the Wild Child pointed out that the air in my front tire was low. Can you guess how many gas stations I had to drive to before I found one where I could get air? I think it was four or five. (And it cost $1 for air when I finally found one too! Not to mention the fact that the gas I filled up with cost $4.20 per gallon. Crazy!)

I thought I'd stop at a couple thrift stores today, and I didn't find a single thing at the first one I stopped at. In fact, I've noticed that the shelves at our local Goodwill stores have been a bit bare lately since they opened a clearance center on my side of town about a month ago. I think they're pulling stuff from the local shops so they can stock it. I'll need to stop by and check it out when I get a chance, but it wasn't on today's "to do" list.

The day DID get better though. As I progressed through my errands, everything seemed to get a bit easier. I found a couple little things at the second thrift store I stopped at. And at Home Depot, I picked out a nice yellow paint color and found all the other things I needed. (I also found a bathroom cabinet that I think I'll send Hubby back to look at and buy tomorrow or the next day, if he agrees he likes it too.)

The only errand I wasn't able to finish today was the grocery shopping--by the time I got out of Home Depot, it was dinner time, so I figured I'd save the grocery shopping for tomorrow.

With all the running around, not much progress was made on the bathroom today, although I took a few minutes to spackle some holes. I also decided I need to paint the paneling around the lower half of the room--something I originally wasn't going to do now, but I can see it needs it after all.

The other thing that always seems to make a day better is escaping into the Sweat Shop for a little textile therapy. I think you know I've been working on the Brocante Schnibbles pattern using the Lovely line by Sandy Gervais (along with a little more Sandy Gervais fabric from other lines I had in my stash). By the end of the evening, I finished sewing the quilt top--

Doesn't it look happy? To play up the stars (which are hard to see in the pattern), I made one of them a contrasting green. Also, instead of adding the flying geese pieces around the outside per the pattern (if you're making it, you know what I'm talking about), I used plain sashing fabric. (I auditioned a few geese, but because they complete the square in square pattern, the stars get lost).

Stitch has been fairly patient with me this evening, waiting for me to stop sewing and come to bed. He's quite a creature of habit. He doesn't like to stay up, but then he doesn't like to go to bed until I do either. It's a constant struggle. Typical male!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I had TOTALLY figured out I was going to title this post "Mostly Mute Monday," upload this photo--

--and then add a caption telling you I'd spent much of the day stripping (wallpaper, of course!). But then I remembered that although I actually HAVE spent Monday stripping (wallpaper, of course!), this will actually be my TUESDAY post, and nothing similarly explanatory rhymes with Tuesday, does it?

I guess since I've been stripping (wallpaper, of course!), I COULD call it Titilating Tuesday, but it's not really all that titilating. TIRING Tuesday would be more like it, except I haven't done anything on Tuesday yet because it's not quite here. What a quandry.

And I'm not a dollar short either. Because I've stayed home today and stripped wallpaper, money didn't even come into it. Not yet. Not until I head to Home Depot in the morning to buy some paint (and anything else I can find that looks interesting).

Clearly I need someone to help me write blog post titles. Maybe the stripping liquid and TSP fumes have gone to my head.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meet the Burrows

The vote is in. It's official. The creepy bunnies are now named Bunnie and Claude Burrow.

I have Pink Flamingo Dianne to thank for the name, once again. She's the same friend who named Cacklin' Rosie. And now I can tell you that those were initially my favorite names, but then I wondered if I was biased, somehow, because I always seem to pick Dianne's names--that's why I thought it would be more fair to get everyone else's input too by voting. And I thank all of you for taking the time to vote.

I also want to thank Josie McRazie who left a comment suggesting that Burrow would be a great last name for Bunnie and Claude because Clyde's last name was Barrow. Yep, I like it! So the bunnies have first and last names thanks to Dianne, Josie, and the rest of you who came up with name suggestions and then voted.

Dianne, I know I have your address around here somewhere, but if you could email it to me again, it might save a little time. Also, I'd like to send Josie a little something to thank her for her contribution too, so Josie, could you email your address to me?

Now the only thing these bunnies need are some bullet holes, right? Just kidding!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brocante Break

It's time for a little break.

I've finally gotten the floral border finished and sewn onto the basket applique quilt. I "tested" it on my king size bed last night to check the size. No, I'm not making it for my king, but I WOULD kind of like it to fit a double or queen, so I thought I'd get a decent idea of the size by laying it on top of the king.

Next I want to see if I have any Thimbleberries fabric that's suitable for an outside border, but I have a feeling that nothing's going to do it justice. I have a feeling that I'm going to be adding pieced baskets around the outside. And I have a feeling that I'm going to struggle with not adding applique to the pieced baskets, but I'm sure going to try. But maybe not. Maybe I'll find the perfect border fabric. Lord knows I have plenty of Thimbleberries fabric to pick from!

In the meantime, I need a little break from this quilt, so I thought it would be a good time to get out those Lovely/Sandy Gervais charm packs and work on the Schnibbles Brocante quilt. I'll probably get a photo of that tomorrow to show you, but there are still a lot of blank spots on the design wall, so it wasn't photo-worthy just yet.

By the way, did I tell you?

I'm on vacation! I have a week off, and I'd like to do a few things around the house (like stripping the wallpaper in the bathroom and painting a room or two) but I'm not going to wear myself out doing it. I'm going to try to relax and enjoy the week. Maybe get out a little. Maybe shop. Maybe thrift. Who knows?

I started out by sleeping in this morning and then laying around and reading--when I wasn't napping. And then reading some more. Of course, I DID get into the Sweat Shop to work on that Brocante Schnibbles, but now I'm going to read a bit more and then sleep again.

Yep, it's going to be a good week, I think.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Naming the Creepy Bunnies

You are all so good at coming up with names, that it's impossible for me to pick! I've narrowed your suggestions down to four choices--and even that was really hard because I liked so many others. For instance, I loved Linda's suggestion of Finious Thumpkin and Flopsy Hare. The only drawback is that I was afraid I'd forget their names by next year. You see, I'm name challenged.

A couple years ago, I designed the Bette Bunny pattern (the one on the wall to the left, just above this paragraph), and I think I had my readers help me come up with her name. Then I made the boy bunny version and named him too. And I never can seem to remember his name from one year to the next! I was thinking about it the other day, and I think he's Benjamin. Bette and Benjamin Bunny. Sounds reasonable, right? I hope so. Poor guy.

Anyway, let's do this. I've created a poll in my sidebar just under my personal stuff. I narrowed it down to four pairs of names that I thought fit the creepy bunnies pretty well. You can only vote on one pair. (And please don't petition all your friends and family to vote for YOUR names because I'd really like to get as unbiased an opinion as possible. Not that you'd do that, right? No, of course not.) I'll leave the poll open until Sunday night and announce the winner on Monday's post. Thanks so much for playing along!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Heavy Petting

Gosh! When was the last time you heard THAT phrase? Sometime in the 60s, maybe? Am I showing my age?

Well, I can definitely say that I'm old enough now that heavy petting usually involves fabric. Is that a good thing or a bad thing, I wonder? Somehow it reminds me of a tastefully glitter-lettered T-shirt I used to have a long, long time ago that said, "I gave up bowling for sex. The balls are lighter and I don't have to change my shoes." (Yes, I used to bowl on leagues and I wore it then.) Of course, it's not QUITE the same, but you know what I mean, right? No? Moving along then . . . .

So, anyway, guess what came in the mail today? A little package from the fantastic Kimberly Jolly and her crew at the Fat Quarter Shop! That's where the heavy petting comes in.

My friend Eileen gave me a Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate for Christmas which I horded for awhile, but I finally gave in and had a little push button shopping spree last weekend. Now I have a nice assortment of the newest Schnibbles patterns and a couple of yummy pairs of charm square packs. Highly pet-able.

I had really good intentions of sewing the last two floral border strips onto the Thimbleberries applique quilt tonight, but once I opened that little box from Texas, I wasn't able to concentrate on anything but picking out the fabric for this month's Le Petite project, Brocante. I mixed and matched and counted squares and planned. I put fabric back and pulled out more. I finally settled (at least for now, and at least in theory) on the Lovely line by Sandy Gervais with a little bit of fabric from some older fat quarters I had in my stash to round out and supplement the colors I'm a little short of in the charm packs.

I'm planning to use the pinky-orange where the red is in the pattern. The plain centers of the blocks will be yellow where they're surrounded by orange (also yellow in the pattern) and blue where they're surrounded by white (pink in the pattern). And, of course, white where the pattern is white. I think, but I cannot swear because I was too busy petting fabric to actually READ the pattern, that the white background is from additional fabric and not the charm packs, but there are a lot of white/light charm squares in these two charm packs, so I just might be able to use them and make it a bit more scrappy looking than the pattern. I think it will make a nice cheerful little quilt, don't you?

Now I just need to find the time to make it. Perhaps I should spend less time petting and more time doing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

You know what? Maybe BLACK would look better than white! And maybe if I shifted color placement, the STAR pattern would show up better. Hummmmmm. Maybe I need to think about this a little more. And you know what? I usually think better while I'm petting. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Show and Tell

I'm slightly amused at the thought of writing a "show and tell" post when I personally don't have anything new to show, but it's about time to talk about our projects. I'm still plugging along on the Thimbleberries applique basket quilt--I just finished piecing the last two floral borders last night, but I still need to sew them onto the quilt and then decide exactly what I want to do for the final border. Then, of course, there's still the quilting to be done.

My Thimbleberries basket quilt is quilt number four for this year, and I'm pretty much right on "schedule"--if there really IS a schedule. But here it is in the fourth month of the year and I'm working on my fourth quilt, so that seems a good pace. And some of you who decided to adopt the 11 in '11 goal have been making progress too--good for you!

Whether you're part of the 11 in '11 group or not, please take a few minutes to click over to the group's Flickr site (look in my sidebar) and check out what our quilting friends have accomplished. See? THAT's the "show" part of my little show and tell tonight. And if you're working toward 11 quilts this year and you haven't joined the Flickr group and uploaded photos, please do--it's a nice, central place where we can visit one another and comment. Because you CAN comment on the quilts--did you know that? You don't even have to be a member of the 11 in '11 group, just as long as you're signed up with Flickr, which is simple to do.

Somewhere along the line, I've lost track of the Layer Cake Quilt Along; I need to catch up. And we won't even THINK of Block-a-Palooza, because if I ever had an idea I might do anything other than make the first block, . . . well, I doubt I'll ever get caught up now. And last month was the first time I've missed a month of Le Petite since I started when it was the Schnibbles group. But I know I can't do it all, and that's okay. I'm getting things finished that I've put off much, much too long. And I'll get back to these other little projects when I need a break.

Now it's your turn--even if you AREN'T on the road to finishing 11 in 2011! What are YOU working on? We'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Where All My Gourmet Recipes Are Created

Of course, I usually show you a few photos of my holiday decorations each time a new holiday rolls around, and Easter is no exception. And, of course, each year's decorations look similar to the last, although I try to make a few changes from year to year, so maybe there's some value in sharing my photos. And THIS year, of course, I know you're all just dying to see where I create my complex puff pastry recipes and make the magic happen, right?

But first, about yesterday's post--it's always a little bit of a shock to me to get negative comments out of the blue, especially when I'm talking about something so seemingly innocuous as puff pastry. Frankly, to get a comment like that one--well, it's at least half funny, but in a sad sort of way. I always wonder how miserable a commenter's life must be to cause him or her to share such a caustic little attitude toward life. Of course, my post was half serious and half tongue-in-cheek, but I appreciated the support and comments from all of you. Life's a funny thing, and it takes all sorts, doesn't it?

So, anyway, enough of that. Welcome to my kitchen! Here you'll see several examples of the fabric carrots I shared with you a few posts back. In fact, now that I think about it, I actually gave you a RECIPE for the carrots, didn't I?

The Easter quilt that's on my table is half my own creation and half from a pattern. I keep thinking that one of these days, I'll design something similar but it will be ALL my creation, and then I can make a pattern available. But it hasn't happened yet, darn it!

Do you remember my creepy bunnies? They've been released from the Sweat Shop to make an appearance for the holiday high up on a shelf, where they can keep watch over us while we dine.

In fact, I'm hoping you can help me name them. Here's a closer view--again, see the carrots?

Awwwwwww, isn't that sweet? They're holding hands!

I kind of think if they had cute names, it might take some of the creepiness away, but I'm open to anything. I don't know if you remember, but Pink Flamingo Dianne named my Halloween witch, Cacklin' Rosie, remember? She almost killed herself doing it, too, because she was thinking so hard, she forgot to watch where she was going and very nearly ran into a support column on a building. (I think it might have been JoAnn's!) So if you want to play along and come up with a name for this pair, please DO be careful and watch where you're going okay? (*See terms and conditions set forth below.)

And did I happen to mention? There just might be a little spring/Easter prize package for the person who comes up with the best names. Let's leave the naming open until Friday night. I'll either announce my choice on Saturday, or if there are a couple good names that I can't decide between, I may ask for your input before picking, okay?

Release of Liability and Terms and Conditions of Contract (because I just don't get enough of this stuff at work): Blogger herein does not assume liability for any injuries or damages that may occur to Bunny-Naming Participant (hereinafter "BNP"). BNP waives all rights to recover damages he or she may have in the event of injury, including but not limited to walking into concrete posts. BNP further relinquishes all ownership rights to the bunny names proposed, and at the time of proposal, said bunny names become the sole and exclusive property of Blogger herein. Please acknowledge these terms by signing and dating this waiver.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are You Mentally Challenged?

There's been so much reactionary blogging going on these days that I felt compelled to jump on the bandwagon too. Sadly, until today I just couldn't manage to stimulate any controversy on my blog. Imagine my surprise when the one subject to finally provoke a rude comment was puff pastry!

You probably know about--and I've alluded to--the recent discussions--mostly good really--about subjects like the dumbing down of quilting. People sure got their panties in a bunch over that one, didn't they?

And last week, a long-time friend of mine, Pat, sent me a link to a book review on a blog that had gone viral due to the book author's comments in defense of her book. (Click HERE if you haven't heard about it and are interested in reading it.) Her numerous comments were riddled with typos and bad grammar--which was pretty much what the reviewer complained of when he reviewed her book. Insane!

I'm starting to think there are a lot of socially challenged people out there, sitting alone in front of their computers, feeling pretty darn grumpy, and they don't care who they dump on. Today one of those people--the ever famous "Anonymous," in fact--posted a comment to my puff pastry post:

"Are you mentally challenged? Opening 3 packages is not a 'recipe'."

Okay, I take exception to that comment. First, because I'm picky when it comes to typos, grammar, and punctuation, I have to point out that numbers ten and under should be spelled out, and the period belongs inside the quotation marks (i.e., "Opening three packages is not a 'recipe.'") But I guess we're all mentally challenged in one way or another.

Second, I looked back at my post and I never really DID say it was a recipe. That's a technicality, though, because when I talked about the puff pastry dessert idea near the end, I IMPLIED that the puff pastry/mustard/sausage idea was a recipe, so I only have a partial defense on that ground.

Third--and this is the big one--what I posted actually IS a recipe according to the definitions in most dictionaries. For example, Wikipedia defines "recipe" as "a set of instructions that describe how to prepare or make something, especially a culinary dish." (Check some of the other online dictionaries and I'm sure you'll find similar definitions.)

In any event, those of you who read my blog regularly know I've never held it out to be a food blog. Now and then I'll pass on a recipe or an idea that's worked for me. My most important criteria for good food is that it has to be reasonably fast (so I can get back to quilting quicker) and it has to taste pretty darn good. Of course, I don't know who "Anonymous" is, but I've got to believe he or she isn't someone who normally reads my blog since they didn't "get" that.

In any event, I can't help but think that if anyone's mentally challenged here, it's probably not me. I do have one question for Anonymous, though: "Are you socially challenged?" Oh, never mind. I already know the answer. And your mama obviously never told you that if you don't have something good to say, keep your mouth shut. And she dresses you funny too, so there!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Busy Hands . . .

Are Happy Hands! And on Saturday, each of the ladies in my stitchery group were happy to spend the day together, keeping their hands busy. (Mouths were busy too, eating and chatting!)

We often bring little treats for one another and they're usually based in part upon the season. Easter chocolates were a big hit, of course! I put together little tin pails of goodies and Gran brought each of us a beaded bracelet cuff--you'll see a couple of the bracelets in the photos I took of everyone's busy hands.

These are Imelda's hands, showing Irene how to do an embroidery stitch on a wool candle mat for Easter. (Irene was our hostess for the day.) Imelda had already made the one on the table to the left. Under the wool project though, you can see a bit of the quilt she was binding--binding was her project for the day and she got it finished before we disbanded.

This is another wool project Irene was working on--a floral pincushion--and she finished both this one (I think it was a Bird Brain pattern) and her Easter candle mat (a Bare Roots pattern) by the end of the day..

These are Gran's hands, working on a snowman embroidery BOM for the soon-to-be shop. (You can see one of the beaded bracelets on her right hand.)

And here are Sandy's hands. Sandy was also binding a quilt. Sandy is the "Clown Tea Towel Queen--but I think she read my blog post and brought something other than a clown tea towel just to throw me off!

And last of all, my project--I finished another block of the basket quilt. I added the embroidered details when I got home, but all of the applique was finished at Irene's house.

It was a very productive day for all of us, although we sure missed our friend Julie, who wasn't able to come this time.

Yesterday, I showed you the puff pastry mini sausages I brought. Somehow I guess I was too busy eating the rest of the food to think about taking photos, but we had muffins and fresh fruit for breakfast, and for lunch we had Spanish rice, homemade chicken enchilladas, and a broccoli slaw salad. My "dogs" were the snacks, and dessert was peach pie a la mode. Groan! But it was all sooooooooo good, both the food and the company. By the time we left, we all agreed that there's not much better than a day spent with girlfriends.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Puff Pastry is My Friend

With all the cooking I've done over the years, one would think puff pastry and I would have been well acquainted, but that's not the case. Where has it BEEN all of my life?

Maybe it's because I don't really do that much entertaining. Maybe it's because I thought it was too hard. Maybe it's because I was confusing puff pastry with phyllo dough--which is a real pain to work with, in my opinion. In any event, I've only recently discovered the wonders of puff pastry, and I'm sure that from now on, I'll always keep a box on hand in the freezer for any kind of entertaining emergencies that may arise.

I swear you could wrap just about anything in puff pastry and it would be excellent. When I was stumped for an appetizer to bring to a get together a couple months ago, a friend told me to put a little brie cheese and a little jalapeno jelly into the center of a little square of puff pastry, bring the corners up and around, and pinch them together. I made about two dozen of them and put each little bundle into a mini muffin tin that I'd sprayed with cooking spray. I baked them at 400 degrees until they were brown and bubbly. Well golly gee that stuff was good!

When I wanted to bring something to my Saturday get together with the stitchery gals, the same friend told me to thaw a sheet of puff pastry. (One secret here that they don't tell you on the box is to let it thaw about 20 minutes and then unfold it to let it thaw the rest of the way. If you wait to unfold it until it's completely thawed, it gets stuck together.) After that, spread some mustard on the sheet of puff pastry . . .

. . . and cut it into squares--these are actually a little small but worked out okay. Wrap a little hot dog in each square of pastry and overlap the ends so they stick together.

Put these tasty little treats on a baking sheet that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees until browned. (You don't have to place them too far apart because they don't puff up too much--not like regular dough.) Unfortunately, I was running out of time, so mine were a little pale (see first photo), although they were cooked through all the way and tasted really great.

Want to hear about another recipe I "discovered"? I cut puff pastry into squares (about 3" squares) and put them in the bottom and up the sides of a sprayed muffin tin. I then added canned, cooked apple pie filling and baked them at 400 degrees until the pastry was browned. I served each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce topped with a little whipped cream. It was a scrumptious and classy dessert that really took very little time to make.

Yep, puff pastry is my friend. It may not be doing my waist or hips any favors, but it sure is good!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Day With Friends

Saturday is the monthly get together of my stitchery friends. Last month we went on a little shop hop up to Paradise and Chico, but this month we're getting together at the home of one of the ladies where we'll spend the day eating and chatting. When we do that, we all bring hand work to keep us busy--most of us bring applique or embroidery. (One of the women has a NEVER ENDING supply of tea towels with clown transfers to embroider. Clowns! I never get tired of giving her a hard time about her John Wayne Gacy projects.)

The other day when I asked how you all cope with long, intricate piecing projects without getting so bored you want to poke your own eyes out, I liked Shannon's answer. Shannon said in that kind of situation where the piecing is that repetitive, she works on two projects at a time so she can go back and forth and not get too bored. With that in mind, and knowing I'd need to get some hand work ready for tomorrow, I pulled out my OTHER basket applique project. (It's funny that I never really think about pieced basket quilts, yet somehow I've managed to have two pieced basket projects that need to be completed!)

You may remember these blocks from last year. I put this project aside at some point, but I've been thinking this would be one of my 11 for the year, so it's about time I got it back out again.

I'm looking forward to seeing my gal pals tomorrow. Gran will be there, and I want to find out all the news about the soon-to-be quilt shop. It feels like we haven't talked FOREVER! Unfortunately one of our friends has to miss our gathering this month, but we'll be thinking of her. I guess I'd better get off this computer so I can pack up my projects and the treats I have for everyone and get to bed. I sure don't want to be tired tomorrow. I hope you have a fine weekend ahead of you too!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Have You Had Your Carrots Today?

Here's an oldie but a goodie, if I do say so myself. About three years ago, I made fabric carrots to use in my Easter decorating. Two years ago, I drew up a pattern and gave it to my students in one of my quilt classes. I know some of you have been around since way back when and may even have made some carrots yourself, but for the newer readers to my blog, just in case you haven't gone back and read though all of the nearly 1,500 posts yet, here are links to my Easter carrot tutorials--they're great fun to make, look great, and are pretty easy too!

AND THEN CLICK HERE. (The second version makes a smaller carrots.)

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Not for human consumption. Eat chocolate bunnies instead.