Language Camps Change Lives

This week I've been working on a story for Viking magazine that's close to my heart. I'm writing an article to commemorate Skogfjorden's 50th anniversary, planned for June 22–24. When Concordia College launched its Norwegian language camp back in 1963 with just 19 campers, I'm sure they had no idea how many youth they would inspire, how much fun would be had, and how much norsk would be learned by generations of kids, many of whom—like me—were able to attend thanks to scholarships from Sons of Norway.

The summers I spent at language camp changed my life. I developed a deep interest in Nordic culture (which translated into an appreciation for other cultures as well). I went on to study Norwegian in college and in Norway, and to spend my summers in college working at Skogfjorden. And now, years later, I get to use my interest in all things Scandinavian by editing Viking—a magazine that celebrates Norwegian heritage and culture. This summer, thanks to scholarships from District 1 Sons of Norway and my local lodge, my kids are looking forward to their time at Skogfjorden. Who knows where their language camp experiences will take them?

Over the past 50 years, language camps have popped up in all Sons of Norway districts—including Camp Little America for members in Norway. Is there a child in your life who would benefit from camp? To find one in your district, check out the opportunities listed on Sons of Norway's website.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Photo courtesy of Concordia Language Villages.

To the Derby, via Dubai

Daddy Long Legs wins the UAE Derby-G2
Photo:  Andrew Watkins, Dubai World Cup

Daddy Long Legs, a Kentucky-bred son of red hot sire Scat Daddy, bested a stellar international field of 13 other three-year-olds to win the mile and three-sixteenths UAE Derby-G2 on the undercard of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan today.   He was the only U.S.-bred runner to capture one of the prestigious contests on World Cup day.

With his victory over Meydan’s synthetic Tapeta surface, in his first start of the year, the long-striding chestnut avenged his 12th place finish in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which was captured by eventual Two-Year-Old Champion Hansen.  He also defeated the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf  hero, Wrote, who finished third.  All three colts are likely to meet again in the Kentucky Derby, to be run at Churchill Downs on May 5th.

The lightly raced Daddy Long Legs, who runs in the Coolmore colors of John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor, has now won three of his five starts, and amassed earnings of $1,308,909, including the $1.2 million winner’s share of the UAE Derby.  That will be more than enough to ensure that he’ll get a place in the Derby starting gate, if his connections want one.  And based on the comments of his trainer, Aidan O’Brien, immediately after the race, it sounds like that’s where Daddy Long Legs is headed.

Daddy Long Legs’ stylish performance in the UAE Derby makes him the current leading earner among members of the precocious initial crop of Scat Daddy, a multiple Grade I stakes-winning son of Johannesburg who stands for $17,500 at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.  With 23 winners and three two-year-old stakes winners last year, Scat Daddy was 2011’s leading first crop sire.  And it looks like his progeny’s early success was no fluke.  Commenting after Daddy Long Legs’ victory today, Aidan O’Brien said, “the Scat Daddys are doing very well this year and it’s interesting that they’re improving from two to three.” 

Indeed, Scat Daddy now has two sons on the Derby Trail.  Another colt, Daddy Nose Best (out of Follow Your Bliss, by Thunder Gulch), notched last week’s $800,000 Sunland Derby-G3 in rallying style and has earned enough to guarantee his place in the Kentucky classic.

Out of the stakes-winning Meadowlake mare, Dreamy Maiden, Daddy Long Legs is bred on the same pattern as crack sprinter Henny Hughes (by Scat Daddy’s grandsire, Hennessy, out of Meadow Flyer, by Meadow Lake), who is now standing at Darley’s Lexington division.  And, like all but one of Scat Daddy’s current stakes winners, Daddy Long Legs is inbred to Northern Dancer.

He descends from the French mare, Affection, the ancestor of influential Broodmares of the Year Delta and Levee (dam of multiple Champion Shuvee).  This is also the family of Slew o’Gold, Coastal, and Aptitude.  Daddy Long Legs is the seventh foal and sixth winner from his dam, who previously produced the multiple stakes-winning Chester House filly, Tres Dream.  Dreamy Maiden brought $170,000, in foal to Street Sense, at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton November sale, while her weanling Giant’s Causeway colt RNA’d for the same price at Keeneland November. 

Daddy Long Legs was plucked out of the 2010 Fasig-Tipton July Select sale by Ashford Stud for $100,000, a price that now looks like a very smart bargain.

I-45 at Greenspoint

Photo by ChristineMM using iPhone4 & Instagram taken in Houston Texas 3/17/12, drive-by photography.

Do the wrong thing: Celebrutard Spike Lee publishes wrong address and puts elderly couple in jeopardy

Americans are so stupid. THIS is why you don't try to take the law into your own hands. This may not be sex offender vigilante news but this IS vigilante scum news and why you should let the courts decide a case before you go around trying to get people killed.

Spike Lee to start his own franchise, the New York PRICKS.
Spike Lee, the racist/black supremacist prick who is more damaging to race relations than the KKK, decided he wanted to encourage a little street justice. Just one problem, his little pea brain did not verify the address first:

It was verified by the twits at twitter. That's good enough for Lee!

Turns out this address belonged to some elderly couple (it's Florida, what do you expect?) and they were run out of their homes by vigilante thugs who are whipped up in a feeding frenzy. Oops.

And Right now, Jaleel White is living in fear hoping he's not confused for Spike Lee
by the people wanting to kick Spikey's punk ass

Nothing a little money cannot fix, huh? The lesson for today? Vigilante violence is never a good idea. What more do you expect from a dumbass who publishes the wrong address. That is why I never published an address (trust me AZU, I HAVE most of your home addresses).

Uprooted: The Ralph Kand Story (Introduction)

I met him down on Park Point at the beach (circa 1990). I'd brought my young children to the lake to play in the sand and to give my wife an evening free from the demands of infants. Parenting is a shared responsibility.

He grabbed my attention the moment I saw him. He came directly toward me, hobbling across the sand, one leg withered and the second strong and muscular. He was old, somewhat stooped, wearing shorts and a button down shirt which he removed as he approached the water.

I was reading a book at the time, watching the kids, lying on a blanket in the late evening sun.

Like a great sea lion Ralph lolled into the lake and submerged himself in the icy waters, bobbing there inelegantly for near twenty minutes after which he returned to land, picked up his belongings to begin the slow trek back to his car. As he neared me he slowed, then stopped. “You like to read,” he said with that thick tell-tale accent of Eastern Europeans. I told him I did, and we struck up a conversation. He said he loved libraries when he was growing up. At some point I told him that I was a writer and he replied that he’s been told many times that his life story should be written.

I could tell he was earnest. He said he’d grown up in Estonia, outside Tallin on the Baltic Sea. Now in his seventies, he teased me with a story. “Would you like to hear how learning new languages saved my life? Come to my apartment and I will tell you more.”

* * *

Ralph Kand was born during Estonia's War of Liberation on August 7, 1919. As a growing boy he lived with his father, mother and brother on the outskirts of Tallin, the capital city of Estonia.

When Ralph was three years old he fell off a fence post and broke his hip. As a result he became crippled in his left leg which grew spindly and crooked. The rest of his life he would walk with a limp, and would never run again.

Even so, Ralph had a very strong will and worked hard at whatever he put his mind to. He never gave up. When he learned typing, he practiced and practiced until he became the second fastest typist in Estonia.

The winters are long and cold in Estonia. When he was a teenager, he saw other children skiing and wanted to ski, too. Everyone in Estonia learns to ski. Ralph would not be stopped. He rigged a set of skis so that his crooked left leg and foot would be strapped in place. He loved swooshing down the mountainsides and became a very fast skier.

While Ralph was growing up Estonia was an independent country with more than a million people living in freedom. Ralph especially loved reading and spent countless hours in the library. One of his favorite authors was Thomas Mann, whose Magic Mountain made an impression on him. He often thought about Hans Castorp, studying the night sky and asking, "How high is high? How far is far?" as he contemplated the meaning of life. These were thoughts and images that stayed with Ralph the rest of his years.

* * *

Within the week of our meeting I visited Ralph in his Duluth apartment to hear the first of the stories which he had hinted at on the beach. It was the beginning of a friendship that lasted years. He had come to Duluth because his wife needed to be placed in a nursing home. He desired to be near Lake Superior because it reminded him of his homeland on the North Sea. What follows is the first story Ralph told to me.

I was employed by a brewery (in Tallinn) called The Rooster. It had been built by the French in an earlier time and was located on the hillside facing the sea. I worked at the order desk. My job was to type up the paperwork when orders were placed.

One day the Russians decided to whitewash all the windows in Tallinn that faced the sea. It was assumed that the Russians did not want Estonians to be able to see the naval activity in the harbor. They were afraid of spies. The inside of all the windows of the brewery had been painted white as well. The next day I took my thumbnail and scratched a tiny hole in the whitewash so we could watch the Russian navy ships in the bay. All over Tallinn people did the same.

The thing that made living under the Communists so terrible was that you could never feel free, never feel safe from fear. There was always the possibility that the secret police would one day come after you. My friends said that I had nothing to fear because of my bad leg.

Ralph's friends, it turned out, were wrong. Ralph was working, typing up paperwork, when it happened. He was in charge of the order desk.

Installments of Uprooted will continue each Saturday till there are no more stories to tell or the well runs dry, whichever comes first. That should be quite some time from now.

Theo Gray's Periodic Table Table

We enjoyed watching this and I hope you will too.

My older son loves the book The Elements and The Elements Vault by Theo Gray.

He also loves reading about experiments and activities you can do with chemicals in Mad Science by Theo Gray.

Hair today, gone tomorrow?

Part 1:

Besides my weight, the only (trivial) thing I obsess about is my hair, which I’m in the process of growing out for the –nth time. My current coif resembles the ‘do I sported when I gave birth to my second son -- who will be a senior in high school next year – with considerably more gray. Length just below the ears, flat and rounded at the same time, and no idea when I had my last haircut.

Unfortunately my hair doesn’t seem to be growing down. Instead it’s tufting out.

This, according to an article in the current issue of More Magazine, is due to the ‘50s’…not the Bill Haley Rock Around the clock decade but the age span that apparently is hardest on a woman’s hair. Blame menopause the magazine advises. I say blame being the mother of a teenager….

Whatever the cause, follicles are supposed to settle down in the 60s… shades of the Age of Aquarius….

Meanwhile, what am I supposed to do? A trip to my amazing stylist would solve a lot of problems, but I’m afraid I’d plead with her to cut it all off…been there, done that off and on since the 80s.

All I want is a sleek, swingy chin-length bob or lob or whatever it’s being called these days. Instead I have the same hairdo I did in hospital shots from 1995 after 25 plus hours of labor.

Part 2:

In the YMCA pool during an aqua fitness class I plead with my friend/hairstylist for help. Sans scissors in the chlorinated depths, she works out a time I can come see her for some follicle ‘shaping.’

A day later I’m less helmet-headed and back on track. With summer approaching (and record highs in our Midwestern spring), I’m enviously looking at New Wave/Punk/Pixie cuts – but resisting.

Maybe when the next decade rolls around and a whole lotta pounds roll off.

Now, to quote Nora Ephron, “I feel bad about my neck.”


Downtown Houston

Photo by ChristineMM using iPhone4 & Instagram taken in Houston Texas 3/17/12, drive-by photography.

Freddie A. Woodral

Freddie Arvil Woodral, 60, of Waldron, AR passed away Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Waldron, AR. Freddie was born January 20, 1952 in Lake Port, CA to Fred & Doyce (Ollar) Woodral. He worked for the forestry service for 37 years. He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Linda Jo Woodral; nephew, Gary “Bubba” Gibson.

Survivors include his wife, Brenda of the home; sons, Freddie A. Jr. & Julie Woodral of Waldron, AR, Doyel W. Woodral of Howe, OK, Robert & Leah Randolph of Poteau, OK; daughters, Jody L. & Robert (Earl) Underwood of Bates, AR, Angella & David Tolleson of Heavener, OK; 9 grandchildren, Jolenia (Princess) Woodral, Darren (Cowboy) Freddie Woodral, Bryce (Blanket Butt) Tolleson, Brayden (Whoa Potty) Tolleson, Kimberly (Chigger) Underwood, Robert (Chock) Wesley Underwood, Kaydence (Kadey-did) Underwood, Luke (Torque) Randolph, Logan (Viking) Randolph; sister, Lynn & Gary Gibson of Howe, OK; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 a.m., Monday, April 2, 2012 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Joe Hayden Hall officiating. Interment will follow in Gipson Cemetery, Bates, AR. Pallbearers will be Freddie A. Woodral Jr., Robert Randolph, Darren Freddie Woodral, Bryce Tolleson, Gary Gibson, George Espinel. Honorary pallbearers will be Doyel Woodral, Randy Bottoms, Henry Hicks, Stanley Brewer, Larry Shores, Jim Evans.

The family will be at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 2-4 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Curtis H. Lewis

Curtis Harold Lewis, 78, of Heavener, OK passed away March 29, 2012 in Tulsa, OK. Curtis was born September 3, 1933 in Petros (Hodgen), OK to Raymond Curtis & Lillie Belle (Kelley) Lewis. Curtis worked in the coal mines. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Donald Lewis; sister, Betty Allen; nephew, Joey D. Byrd.

Survivors include his daughter & son in law, Linda & Jeff Hall of Heavener, OK; grandchildren, Kelley & Jennifer Sayahnejad of Wichita, KS, Samantha & Adam Cox of Gainesville, TX; great grandsons, Thomas Cox, Waylon Cox, Owen Cox, Cooper Sayahnejad; 1 sister, Ema Mae & R.B. West of Heavener, OK; 1 nieces, Sharon Evans of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; other relatives and loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Monday, April 2, 2012 graveside at Hodgen Cemetery, Hodgen, OK with Rev. Howard Huddle officiating. Interment will follow.

Something to Use Ruined Homemade Pudding For

My 14 year old son made his first batch of pudding from scratch. It was a giant batch. It was intended to be a food that he'd eat after he had his tonsillectomy surgery.

There is a trick and a chance taken when blending hot milk into room temperature egg. One wrong move and you wind up with pudding with bits of tiny scrambled eggs in it.

With about a gallon of odd texture pudding on my hands I had an idea. I tried it, and it works.

Freeze the pudding, then use the frozen pudding combined with milk to make a milkshake.

The grainy texture of the pudding is undetectable in the milkshake.

Variation: Peach Milkshake

With frozen vanilla pudding: put a 15 ounce can of peaches in pear juice into the blender and add the frozen vanilla yogurt (just estimate the quantity). Mine yielded two peach milkshakes. It's delicious.



The Bodyguard and Richard Cory

Whitney Houston. Kevin Costner. I’ve seen the before, but I wanted to see it again after Whitney’s recent passing. The film has a mediocre rating from viewers at, but it’s not altogether a bad film. Whitney was a charming, beautiful and gifted young woman. What a voice. And what a beautiful face… and all the rest. The camera captures it wonderfully, and even though I tend to not care for Costner in some of his roles, he delivers some good lines here.

But Whitney’s gone, and it makes one sad because such beauty and talent did not bring her the happiness she desired. Awards, fame, riches... and emptiness.

This film combined with this week's lottery news brought to mind the poem Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson. Paul Simon made it famous in the Sixties, re-interpreting the story in song and extending its reach since pop music spreads to the four corners of the earth and poets barely reach a sliver-demographic of esoteric elites. I’m reminded of the poem because it’s another one of those things that people would expect to bring happiness: money.

And so it is that this week’s Mega Millions lottery has broken records with its half billion dollar jackpot. And I can’t help but wonder if and how the winner of this windfall will find the happiness they’d hoped for. We’ve seen it all too many times. Buckets of cash don’t buy happiness.

Even so, whoever wins, I hope that by beating the odds to catch their golden dream that they will also beat the odds and find satisfaction as well. Be wise, be generous, and try to be different from those others who have squandered it all and become immersed in regret.

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good Morning!" and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine -- we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.

Edwin Arlington Robinson

For the Kids Friday #56

Welcome to another week of kid-friendly fun!
It is so great to have so many people back sharing each and every week.  I am always thrilled to see new linkers too!  Even if you aren't here to share... there are always some great ideas to snag.  So make sure to stop by each week to see what great things are happening in blog land!

I've chosen some favorites from last week's party!

If you've been featured below
grab my A++ and brag about it to your friends :)

Chubby Bunnies
at Hungry Happenings

DIY Fairy Slippers
at The Nature of Grace

Kinder Surprise Tooth Fairy Box Craft
at Red Ted Art

Bunny S'mores
at the Chick N Coop

Easter Bunny Pretzel Treats 5
Easter Bunny Pretzel Treats
at B.Inspired, Mama!

EasterButton1 Easter Pre K Pack
Easter Pre-K Pack
at Over the Big Moon

KFC Fried Chicken and Sides - APRIL FOOLS!
at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

Now, show us what you've got!
For the Kids Friday

1)  I would LOVE for you to first be a follower of my blog.  (And why wouldn't you want to be?!)

2)  Grab my For the Kids Fridays Button and place it somewhere on your blog.  Be sure to link back to me!

3)  Link up as many KID-RELATED activities, games, recipes, parties, gifts, clothing you've created, crafts, traditions, lessons, and so on... that you would like to share.  Please add a different link each week.  They can be old or new... this is just a place to share ideas for our kids to enjoy.  Bonus points to those that serve some educational purpose too!  Link must be to the specific post, and not your general blog page.  Please don't link to your store.

4)  Share the love and comment on at least one other link.  Everyone loves to get feedback.

That's it!  Have fun, and thanks so much for participating!

An American Icon

Like it or not these signs are an American icon, all over our landscape.

Photo by ChristineMM using iPhone4 & Instagram taken in Houston Texas 3/17/12, drive-by photography.

Matt Thompson obit notice

Matt Thompson
SALT LAKE/PRICE - Matthew Allen Thompson, age 50, passed away March 24, 2012 in Salt Lake City.
He was born Feb. 27, 1962 in Van Nuys, Calif., to Ray Allen Thompson and Pearl Barnett.
Matt was a graduate of Carbon High School Class of 1980 and in the late 80's he furthered his education by attending Bible School in Phoenix, Ariz. Matt was a very quiet individual who had a deep faith in the Lord. He loved listening to Christian music and reading his Bible.
He loved working with his hands and was willing to help anyone in need. Matt was very industrious and one of his most memorable jobs was working on the City Creek Project. At the time of his passing he was residing in Salt Lake City where he owned and operated Premier Window Cleaning. Matt enjoyed the serenity of the outdoors and one could always find him either hiking, biking, golfing or working out at the gym. He excelled in sports and in his youth was recognized as an outstanding pitcher.
Survived by his mother and step-father, Pearl (Devon) Oliver, Price; sister, Heidi Oliver, Price; step-sister, Heather Wynn, Salt Lake City; many loving aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Matt was preceded in death by his father, Ray Thompson; and his grandparents.
Graveside service, Thursday, March 29, 2012, 11 a.m., Price City Cemetery. Family will be at Mitchell Funeral Home (233 E. Main Street) in Price Wednesday evening from 6 - 8 p.m. and Thursday morning from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Arrangements entrusted to Mitchell Funeral Home of Price where friends are welcome daily and may share memories of Matt online at

What Son Said About Me Reviewing Books

A conversation I had last week with my eleven year old son.

Me: I need to go read this book. I want to finish it.

Son: Why?

Me: I need to write a review on it. I have been putting it off and am just going to make time to sit and read it.

Son: Do you like it?

Me: Not really, it's boring.

Son: Why are you reading it then?

Me: The book sounded good when I read the marketing materials. I thought I would learn something from it that would be of use and that I'd enjoy it. But the fact is, I don't like it, it's boring and I have some issues with it.

Son: So why bother?

Me: I made a committment to write this review.

Son: Why do you do the reviews if it takes your time and you don't like it?

Me: I do enjoy reading the books that I think are good. It's just that I don't always know that a book is not going to be great.

Son: What do you get out of this?

Me: Well I thought I wanted to read it, it did sound good before I started reading it. I got the review copy of the book for free. I was happy to get it, I thought it would be a good use of my time.

Son: But now you don't like the book so forget it, don't read it.

Me: I am following through on my committment. Plus with the Amazon Vine program the new policy is that I need to review 80% of the items that I have received in order to stay in the program. I am trying to stay above 80%. I can fall behind if I don't force myself to read these books.

Son: I wouldn't do it. I'd rather just not participate and then get to stop reading a book I don't like.

Me: Well that is why they require that you only review 80% of what you receive, you don't have to review every single thing. I do want to stay in the program. I am not forced to order things, I am offered items and if I like the idea of some of them, I request it. I have a choice.

Son: Well it just stinks that you have to finish reading a book you don't like.

Me: You win some, you lose some. It's okay.

Jazz, Sea of Bowls and Samsara

“Oh salty sea, how much of your salt is tears from Portugal?” ~Fernando Pessoa

I've been watching Ken Burns' documentary Jazz again… so very powerful. Last night I watched Episode Seven which covers the period of World War II. There are so many powerful moments in this series, which is as much about the black experience in America as it is about the music. In one segment, the story is told of an integrated jazz group with Dave Brubeck that traveled together, played music together and fought together. We're talking about army guys in Europe here, not a Bob Hope USO entourage flying here and there to encourage the troops. Ken Burns cut to an elderly Brubeck telling the story of the first black man he ever saw. When he was young his father brought him to this man in Sacramento and had the black man open his shirt. With tears in his eyes Brubeck says, “He had a brand on his chest.”

The pain of this memory was exacerbated by his memories of returning from the war fighting side by side with black friends and seeing them returned into a segregated second class citizen status back here in the States. What were these men fighting for? Freedom? For whom?

Sea of Bowls

This Monday the Sea of Bowls will be on display preceding Tuesday’s 19th Annual Empty Bowl benefit for Second Harvest Northern Lake Food Bank. The fine art bowls will be available for purchase from 5-7 p.m. at The Depot, 507 West Michigan Street, Duluth. One of these fancy bowls can be yours for anywhere from $25 to $100. On Tuesday you can purchase bowls filled with a tasty soup de jour for $20. All proceeds go to feed needy people in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. This is a really great concept, an inspired way in which the arts gives back to the community.

David Normal's Latest

For those of you in San Francisco, David Normal's latest painting, “Samsara” was displayed last Friday evening at Trickster Salon's "Primal Masquerade". For this event, Trickster teamed up with Aspect Gallery to present the event at 1000 Van Ness, a beautiful atrium ballroom on the ground floor of the AMC theater in San Francisco. From what I hear it was a pretty lively soiree. Normal just passed his 42nd birthday on the 19th of this month, so he was informally celebrating his birthday there. I was invited, but gosh, seems I've been pretty busy lately. You can read the story behind the painting here.

This Weekend in the Twin Ports

Check this week's Reader, or The Wave in today's Trib, for the music action at Luce, Beaners, The Rex and other hot spots. If you're into live comedy, Dubh Linn downton and V.I.P. Pizza (Tower Avenue, Superior) are the current hot spots. And for jazz, I think they're still doin' it at the 'Toga on Saturday afternoons beginning at three. For live theater, see what's happening at Stage II and The Play Ground. I myself will be dropping into Zinema 2 to see the next installment of Duluth Art Institute sponsored Robert Hughes film series, "Shock of the New." Life is happening all around you. And with spring in the air, I see lots more coming alive. Be a part of it.

“God wills, man dreams, the work is born.” ~Fernando Pessoa

Jelly Bean Cake

Looking for a fun and simple treat for Easter?
This Jelly Bean Cake is easy and so much fun!  The kids will love it!

Supplies Needed
- Cake Mix, white or yellow, prepared (one box, or use THIS recipe like I did)
- Food Coloring, various colors
- Cake Frosting (I used THIS recipe)
- Jelly Beans

1.   Preheat your oven, and grease and flour two baking pans, according to your cake directions.  I didn't have 8" rounds, so I used my 9" square pans instead.

Separate your prepared cake batter into 4 bowls, and tint each bowl to a color of your liking.  

I went a little overboard here.. I was hoping to have more pastels for spring, but dumped in too much.  Oops!

2. Carefully, spoon your batter in alternating spoon-fulls into your prepared baking pans.  You will be laying different colors over top of each other.  I didn't use any rhyme or reason here.  I just dropped batter until my bowls were empty!

3. Bake your cake, according to the cake instructions!  When the cake is ready to come out, the colors won't look as bright on the surface.  Don't worry!  The colors are still nice and bright inside!
Set the cakes aside to cool completely before removing from the pan.

4.  I chose to layer my cake, using frosting in between each layer.  Frost the entire surface of your cake.  Then grab a kid and have them decorate the top with jelly beans.  My 4 year old was more than happy to help with this!

Best of all, when you cut into this beautiful cake....

You'll be in for a colorful surprise!

Piece of Cake!

Happy Easter!
I loved looking at these pictures. Thanks for posting them. I remember Birdie, your mom, so well -- I loved that lady! She was so much fun!!!!
Irene C. Dougherty

Harriet Fallon Kearns Coleman

Harriet Fallon Kearns Coleman, 95, of Summerfield, OK passed away Friday, October 21, 2011 in Grand Rapids, MI. Harriet was born February 11, 1916 in Francis, OK to James Hiram & Bessie Idell (Fallon) Kearns; the youngest of her sisters, Nellie Idell, Grace Elizabeth, & Ruth Eleanor, all deceased. Harriet graduated from East Central State University in Ada, OK in 1937, then from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK in 1939.

She taught school in Ada for four years, LeFlore, OK for eleven years & Talihina, OK for 15 years. She was married for 37 years to Hershal Augusta Coleman, who died in 1984. Harriet volunteered at 9 years old as a babysitter. As an adult, she volunteered as a Future Homemakers of America Leader, at Talimena Drive Information Center, Poteau Hospital Auxiliary, Kerr Center, Carl Albert Community College, and LeFlore Elementary School. She was a member of the Campfire Girls of America as a child. She was a member of Busy Bees Quilting Club for 30 years, Tri-Sigma Sorority for 70 years, and the Methodist Church for all of her life. Harriet tickled family members and innumerable friends with her spunk, wit, generosity, and enthralling stories.

She is survived by her sons, Charles of Norman, OK, Richard (Cindy) of Grand Rapids, MI; niece, Ellen Lee of Tulsa, OK and grandchildren, Iris and Adam of Grand Rapids, MI.

Please consider attending a Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of Harriet 10 am, Saturday, March 31, 2012 at Evans Chapel of Memories - Poteau, OK. Harriet's remains will be laid to rest next to Hershal's plot in Summerfield.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation, in Harriet’s memory, to Summerfield Community Center Busy Bee Club, 34518 Reichert-Summerfield Rd.,

A Non-Thinking Doctor?

This is considered a radical opinion website by some people. However what I take issue with are quotes stated in court.

State Demands Child Take Cancer-Causing Drugs

This case is about whether the parents have a right to determine the medical treatment for their minor aged child. Here is the block of text that sums up what I have an issue with. The child had Cancer and had some treatment and recent diagnostic scans showed the child was Cancer-free so the parents didn't feel any more treatment was necessary. In fact the additional dose of medication was said in package inserts to cause secondary Cancer. If I were the parent I would question why more drugs should be given knowing the documented side effect.

In the quotes, the emphasis is mine.

“‘Have all of these drugs been approved by the FDA as safe and effective for children?’ I asked Jacob’s treating oncologist,” he said. “‘Yes,’ she replied, they have been FDA-approved for children.”

However, according to the official package inserts mandated by the government to describe the drugs contained and their complications, she was “flat wrong,” Farris said.

“In fact, as it turned out, the treating doctor had never even seen, much less read, these official FDA-required package inserts,” he reported.

A warning accompanying another drug demanded by the doctors, vincristine, was typical of those in the case, he said.

That warning said, “Patients who received chemotherapy with vinchristine sulfate in combination with anticancer drugs known to be carcinogenic have developed second malignancies.”

“This is not an easy case. It is not a case where a child has a current illness and the treatment is tested and proven to be safe and effective – those cases are easily resolved. The best evidence is that Jacob no longer has objective evidence of cancer. And not a single drug that the doctors want to give Jacob is FDA-approved for children for his kind of cancer,” Farris said.

He said it is a judgment call, a balancing of risks, and the issue is who makes that decision.

“The doctor told me during the deposition that she thinks that she should make the call – for every child in this situation. And she would give the same answer every time, rather than making an individual judgment,” Farris wrote. “I can’t imagine a more clear case of the need for parental rights.”

Michael Farris works for HSLDA, an organization who is concerned with parental rights and homeschooling. Homeschooling is often couched as a parental rights issue (and I agree that it is a parental rights issue).

Wordless Wednesday: Buddha-A-Day with Footnote

These pictures are from Ellen Sandbeck's Buddha-a-Day series. In April you can see her work in person as, she will be having a Phantom Gallery show in Superior with the potter Jim Grittner. The show will be at 1412 Tower Avenue in Superior. There will be an opening night event on the evening of April 19th, and the show will be open again on Earth Day, April 21st, during the Twin Ports Art Crawl.

Exit Through the Gift Shop Documentary Review

I was rivoted while watching this documentary about street art: Exit Through the Gift Shop.

This is an odd tale of a man obsessed and addicted to making video recordings of his life. He made recording after recording and would never watch them. This segued into him filming street artists at work. He then started saying he was filing to make a documentary when in fact he was just having fun doing the filming.

In the end perhaps one of the most famous street artists, Banksy, wound up making the documentary film using the original footage.

This is also the story of when a person decides to become an artist themselves, using a staff of hired artists (not unlike what Andy Warhol did) and as an unknown, to put on their own one man show. You won't believe what happens.

If you like art and the artistic process, and are curious about street art, you will enjoy this documentary.

They never did explain the title but I think I know. When you are accosted by Disney's security they bring you to their underground interrogation rooms through a door in the gift shop. What that has to do with the movie, you'll have to watch to find out. (How I know that fact about the gift shop door: while at Disney as a high school senior with a school trip some of my classmates attempted shoplifting and were caught and went through the gift shop door to the underground inquiry rooms.)