Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blue Bunny Recalls

My Nash-Finch connection, Barb, sent these to me this evening:

Classification: Health Hazard

Wells' Dairy Announces Voluntary Recall of Select Blue Bunny® Products Because of Possible Health Risk

Dave Smetter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Le Mars, Iowa (January 29, 2009) – Wells' Dairy, Inc., is voluntarily recalling all Blue Bunny® No Sugar Added Reduced Fat Bunny Tracks® ice cream sold at retail and foodservice levels in 1.75 qt plastic containers with All Codes displaying "Best Used By" dates prior to January 29, 2010. Best used by date is located on the bottom of the carton.

Wells' Dairy is also voluntarily recalling one lot of Blue Bunny Personals® Bunny Tracks 8 fl oz. sold at retail and foodservice levels with lot number – 80024 D19114 "Best Used By" date 09/11/09. The lot number can be found printed on the side of the carton.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Raining Cowboys!

CLICK TO ENLARGE - go ahead, I dare ya

Petticoats and Pistols is gearing up for another Filly Celebration! We are approaching the ONE MILLION mark for hits on our page. There are two contests to enter. One is for a $25 amazon gift card. The other is for a book from EACH of the ten Fillies! So skedaddle on over and see how to enter so you can win:

Free Downloads of Harlequin books

There is a lot coming up as Harlequin celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year.
Right now you can download one or all of 16 full-length books FREE at eharlequin.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CHOICES and download free books

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You think you've seen winter?

Okay, I will not complain about winter any more (this year). We ain't seen nothin' like the snow in South Dakota. My daughter LeighAnn sent me these photos from a friend up north.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January Doldrums

Ryan and Eric

Everything is more difficult in winter weather. For those of you in warm climates, I just want to say: Winter in Nebraska sucks right about January/February. Everything takes longer, because you have to plan for driving conditions, warming the car - which by the way, it's illegal to leave your car running and go in the house - there are a wholelotta folks breaking the law every winter. If you have more cars than fit in your garage - or your garage is too full to fit all your cars - you have to scrape ice from the windows.

Getting kids ready for school requires coats and hats and mittens and tennis shoes for gym in the bookbag - and good luck seeing all those garments again at the end of the school day. We have an odd glove basket in the coat closet. If you lose yet another glove, well, you wear a pair that doesn't match.

And then there's the elementary school lost and found- It's downright amazing what kids lose at school. I'm looking for a few good gloves to match the ones at home, and I need to take a lunch! Hats, scarves, COATS, school sweatshirts, mittens, lunchboxes, Webkins. I understand the hats and stuffed animals, but do parents not notice that their kid came home without his coat? People, it's ten below zero out there!

Of course, because it IS Nebraska, and zero temps are normal, a thirty or forty degree day is cause for leaving all that stuff in the backpack. Whoo hoo, it's summer!

No kidding, if the temp hits 40, you see adults at Walmart in shorts and sweatshirts.

Oh, and one of my biggest peeves - the garage floor. Every time you drive in with all that sand and slush and dirt and ice caked inside the wheel wells, it melts and cakes on the floor. Now, you can either sweep it out while it's wet - yuck - or wait until it dries, which is my method. We are blessed to face the west, so even our driveway dries pretty nicely once it's shoveled and had a little sun - but my friend Barb's driveway has 2 inches of ice on it, as well as 60 pounds if ice melt, and it never melts because she's at the bottom of a hill and seldom gets sun on that side of her house. When I go over, I park on the street and walk through snow in the the yard to the house. I don't know how they get their mail.

Oh, and grocery shopping is a workout in this weather. You're all bundled up, so you have to take your coat off or roast in the store. Then shop, pay, put on your coat, mittens, scarf and TRY TO PUSH A SHOPPING CART over rutted ice and six inches of slush! I always park by a cart return. If you make it to your vehicle, you load the bags while the wind blows your scarf in your face and freezes the inside of your nose. Can anybody relate?

So...ready for spring, anyone?

Monday, January 26, 2009


Here's the photo Brenda sent me of her beautiful grandbaby Isabel. She's all decked out for the holidays and just precious. Thanks, Brenda! You deserve to be a proud Gramma.

This is Elle, Mary Coneally's new grandbaby who was born just a week ago. She's the prettiest little thing. Can't you just SMELL her baby goodness by looking at this pic? Mary has been in the city hogging--er, I mean helping take care of sweet Elle. Congratulation, Grandma!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Turtle Pie

1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
4 cups Cool Whip, divided
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
chocolate syrup
caramel syrup

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add the peanut butter, milk and 3 tablespoons peanuts.
Beat until smooth.
Fold in 2 cups of Cool whip.
Spoon filling into graham cracker crust.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
Top with remaining Cool Whip. (You can either put Cool Whip on as a top layer, or you can individually serve the Cool Whip as a large dollop on each piece of pie.).

To serve, drizzle individual slice with chocolate syrup and caramel syrup.
Sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts.

Optional: Sprinkle with powdered sugar, chocolate curls or mint sprigs.

National Pie Day

Making anything good today?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To-Die-For Pie: National Pie Day is Coming!

Now here's a holiday we can sink our teeth into!
Just in case you weren't aware of it, Friday is National Pie Day! I don't want you to miss a celebration like this, I mean there are gowns and jewlery to consider wearing for this event. Oh, and pie. Until Friday, I'll be sharing pie recipes so you can find something you like. Not that finding a pie we like is tough, but so that you can have a selection to choose from. Oh, heck, I'm not kidding anyone. I'll be posting recipes just so you'll have some yummy pie recipes and most likely try them all!

1/4 cup butter, melted
15 to 18 Keebler Pecan Shortbread Sandies cookies, finely crushed

Stir butter into finely crushed cookies with fork. Press into a 9-inch pie pan; freeze to firm.

First layer:

2 cups Cool Whip
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon sugar

With electric mixer, beat all ingredients together until blended; spread onto crust and return to freezer.

Second layer:

2 cups Cool Whip
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter

Beat Cool Whip, sugar and cream cheese together until blended. Mix in peanut butter and spread on top of pie; return to freezer.

Third layer:

2 cups Cool Whip, plus extra for topping.
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces German sweet chocolate baking squares, melted

Beat Cool Whip, sugar and cream cheese together until blended. Beat in melted chocolate. Spread on top of pie and return to freezer.

Before serving, top with more Cool Whip.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My good friend Rebecca Ryan suggested this movie, so I rented it for Sunday when I needed to crash after my Friday/Saturday retreat and still entertain the throngs. We all loved it, and I can't believe I hadn't seen it before. A couple of the kids said they'd seen parts of it, but never the whole thing - Disney Channel cuts a few places, and not because of content, must be for time.

Shia LeBeouf grew up to star in Transformers and Eagle Eye. (I'll do a review on Eagle Eye soon!)

Without further ado, here's Rebecca:

Do you have a favorite ‘go to’ movie? Something you play when you need a little pick-me-up? For our family that movie is Holes, based on the best-selling novel by Louis Sachar. The movie is family friendly – I would rate it for kids ten and above. (Although I will admit that my seven and eight-year-old have watched it with my supervision.) There are a few scuffles and some minor language that give Holes a PG rating.

The movie begins when Stanley Yelnats (masterfully portrayed by a teenage Shia LeBeouf) is wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of celebrity sneakers from a charity auction. The judge sentences Stanley to eighteen months at a juvenile detention camp.

At camp, Stanley and the other delinquents are required to spend their days digging holes in the desert to ‘improve their character.’ Each hole must be five-feet-deep and five-feet-wide. Stanley gradually realizes there is an ulterior motive to the incessant digging.

Interwoven into Stanley’s tale is the story of ‘Kissing Kate Barlow’, a nineteenth century outlaw. A third story line involving Stanley’s ‘No-Good-Pig-Stealing-Great-Great-Grandfather’ also threads its way into the movie.

Don’t worry though, the movie is perfectly plotted and each storyline is balanced to connect the movie in a perfect bow during the final scenes. I think it’s because the author of the bestselling novel, Louis Sachar, also wrote the screenplay for the movie.

I can’t say enough about the cast either. Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver play sadistic camp wardens. There are also cameos by Eartha Kitt and Henry Winkler. Even the teenagers cast as Stanley’s fellow delinquents are amazing.

It’s a story of friendship, family and redemption. Holes was only a modest success at the box-office in 2003, which is a shame. If you need a way to connect with your ‘tweens’ I highly recommend this movie. You might even get them to read the book...

Monday, January 19, 2009

FDA Recalls Peanut Butter Products

FDA Recalls Peanut Butter Products

Click on the link of products, including items from HyVee and Walmart bakeries as well as Keebler products and many more containing peanut butter that are being recalled.

Barb, my hook-up in the grocery industry, alerted me to this.
Click through the blue product links to see the individual items being recalled. There are a lot!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Mary DeSive took this pic of me at our HWG writers' retreat over the weekend. One of our ice breakers was to hold a straw between our teeth. Try it. You can't NOT smile.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New in Town

Saw this trailer at the movies. It's Renee Zellweger and harry Connick Jr., and from the clips it looks pretty cute. Can't wait to hear a few reviews. I like both of them, and exaggerated Minnesota/North Dakota accents crack me up to no end. It starts the end of January.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ten Common Sense Things You Can Do to Keep Your PC in Top Form

Written by John Erianne on January 13, 2009

From Diary of a Mad Writer Blog“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” — Benjamin Franklin

John gave me permission to reprint his tips here. He says:
I’m thinking that were Benjamin Franklin alive today, he’d be blogging with the rest of us. And you know what? He’d probably be wise enough to keep his PC in working order (although, he was a trendsetter in his day so he’d probably have a Mac Air).

There are a ten common sense things you can do to keep your computer in tip-top shape and extend the life of your machine:

1. Literally clean you computer regularly — keep the screen, keyboard, tower, fan, and peripherals free of dust. If you’re like me, you have a habit of eating and drinking at your desk. This is a bad idea. However, if you do eat at your desk, be careful not to spill anything on the computer.

2. Have a good anti-virus and malware program and scan your PC regularly for viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware. Also, it’s a very good idea (especially if you have a broadband connection) to have a firewall program.

3. Defragment your disk drive and clean your registery at least once a month and anytime you install new software. Scan your hard disk for problems.

4. Have plenty of system memory. If you have a PC running Windows, make sure you allocate at least 400 MB for the operating system to use.

5. Backup everything! In particular, you want to backup your most important documents, pictures, movies, etc.

6. Wait for the operating system to shut-down your computer. Do not use the power button to turn off the unit (unless the hard drive light has stopped) otherwise your data might lost or corrupted.

7. Have an uninterrupted power supply or at least a high quality surge protector. Barring that, shut down your computer and unplug it during lightning storms.

8. Uninstall unused programs from your hard drive. This will free up space on the hard drive.

9. Run Windows Update. Microsoft is notorius for producing software with security flaws — that’s why it’s important to check for patches and updates and install them if you are running any version of Windows or other MS software.

10. Delete your temporary Internet files, browser history, and cookies. Compact your email messages on a regular basis.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Meryl Streep Has Two Golden Globe Nominations

Because I can't resist, I dug up one of these then and now pics.

I appreciate Meryl Streep and think she is brilliant in most everything she does. She shined in The Devil Wears Prada. I've liked her since (can't think of the name) with Dustin Hoffman. But Mama Mia!? Pu-leeze. My opinion of that movie is no secret. And if you don't know, read it here: MOVIE REVIEW: MAMA MIA!

If she wasn't brilliant, the movie would have tanked, because everyone else sucked bilge water.
With nominations for two movies, Doubt and Mamma Mia!, Meryl Streep is now the most nominated actor with 23 nominations. Six previous wins ties her with Jack Nicholson.

I am off to research Doubt, because I haven't seen it.

LIFE: Splashing Required

Life is not about waiting for the storms to’s about learning how to dance in the rain.


Sunday, January 11, 2009



I take all responsibility for not educating myself on this movie before going to see it. I watch commercials--so sue me. Sunday afternoons after church and dinner, I often take the kids to a movie. This one was mentioned, so why not? I took an eleven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy. Mistake.

It was released Christmas week, so I'm thinking it's for kids. It's not. The commercials made it look like fun. It's not. Oh, there are lighthearted moments that tear past at the speed of light. However, it's more a commentary on this true person who wrote the book (yes, I know it was a book, and no, I didn't read it, my bad) a hashing over of the near-regrets about decisions he makes in his life: Marrying, taking a job, having kids, etc.. The only thing he never regrets is getting the awful dog. And he really only did that to appease his wife in hopes she wouldn't want a baby. What a guy.

I am so sad about the lovely Kathleen Turner whom I want to remember Romancing the Stone on Michael Douglas's arm, not as an overweight crankpot being--well--crudely jumped upon by a male dog. I will try hard to forget that.

Many up-close scenes about trying to have a baby, getting pregant, using the urine stick, having a miscarriage, about having a baby, stack up to not-so-much fun to watch and are IMHO painful for kids to sit through.

And the years rush by, the actor dogs change and Marley gets old and yep, he dies. A long drawn out death. We see murder/death/kill solution (anyone seen Demolition Man lately? now there's a laugh) is placed in the dog's IV as we watch. We see the dog close his eyes for the last time. We see the owners' reactions in detail, we see the kids' reactions. We see the grave; we see more than we want to see, trust me.

We all wipe our sorry noses on our salty popcorn napkins and leave. My first phone call is to my daughter, LeighAnn the dog lover, warning her to NEVER ever watch this movie.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather have gone back to Australia one more time while it's in the theater. And the kids would have LIKED it!


This colored photo is of my beautiful grandmother, Melissa, who loved me well.

This other pic is my beautiful great-grandmother, Preadie, whose wedding ring I never take off.

Magdalena mentioned she has a grandmother's wedding ring that is too big. This one is too big for a finger, but I wear it on my thumb with a couple others.

favorite books of 2009

All About Romance's Reader Poll for favorite books started this week! Go to the site to nominate your favorite books.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Makers of Memories

A favorite and dear aunt passed away recently, preceded by a son and her husband. Her remaining three sons selected a lovely poem for the pamphlet at the funeral home. I thought it said a lot about what kind of mom she was they they chose it.

Thanks to my cousin Diana, I have great family photos!
So this is for my Uncle Bid and Aunt Edith:

Makers of Memories

Listen mothers -- and fathers too:
Say, has it ever occured to you
that in your homes from day to day,
you are making memories to give away?

You are making memories, good or bad
for the little girl and the little lad.
And the memories they carry
when later they roam
will be the measure of your home.

A lovely memory you make today
may bless them on their future way.
A game, a book you read, a springtime walk;
A smile a reverent prayer, a friendly talk.

And boys and girls, do you know that you
are daily making memories too?
When you are grown and gone away,
there in the home your memories stay.

Mother, father, with time to spare
will recall the days when you were there.
And blessed are the mother and father who
in memory find you good and true.

Mothers, fathers, daughters and sons,
Oh make those memories happy ones;
For in your homes from day to day
some kind of memories you're giving away.

Fannie Richards Davis
Abilene, Kansas

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thursday at Petticoats and Pistols

It's my regularly scheduled day at Petticoats and Pistols and I'm blogging about a special event that is taking place next week. It's an opportunity make memories for someone you hold dear. Come on over and I'll tell you how!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On Blogging

On her Internet Business site, Pat Doyle lists 23 Things to Blog About

Online Marketing Blog with 25 outstanding tips to put you and your blog on the blogosphere map. It was posted by Lee Odden.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


“Ah, how good it feels: the hand of an old friend.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Westerns on ebay

My google alerts let me know whenEVER my name is mentioned on the Internet. Yeah, how would you like to keep up with my email? If I can keep the incoming new mail under 100, I'm a happy camper.


So anyway, this is an ebay listing looking for a western Harlequin Historical lover out there who wants a big giant pile of books!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

George Vlosich: Etch a Sketch Art

George Vlosich is a 1997 graduate of Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio who has gained an international reputation for exquisitely detailed portrait collages. He's been featured in magazines and on television.

When he was nine, he brought along an Etch a Sketch on a family trip to Washington DC. His drawing of the US Capitol amazed his parents, who pulled into a gas station to take a picture. He is able to preserve the work by removing the back and shaling out the aluminum that has been etchd off.

His early earliest portraits were of athletes and superheroes and he's had many of his images of athletes autographed. "We get a lot of vacations out of it," he said, about the media attention. His dad takes a camera everywhere they go. More recently he's done other public figures like the presidential candidates and The Beatles.

"I'll keep doing it as long as it's fun, " said Vlosich. "The Lord has truly blessed me."

You can visit George's home page at


This is a terrific workshop for writers, given by my friend, Cyndy:
Using Your Unique Organizational Style to Maximize Productivity


Ready to stop the cycle of broken New Year’s resolutions that prevents you from taking your writing career to the next level? Make your writing goals a reality in 2009 by discovering and employing your unique organizational style to maximize productivity.

During this four-week course, multi-published author and professional organizer Cyndy Salzmann will help you to:

Discover your unique organizational style using a personality profile developed specifically for writers;
Learn tips and techniques for maximizing your strengths and combating weaknesses;
Set personal and career goals based on your values, priorities and dreams;
Develop a strategy to achieve both long and short-term goals based on your unique organizational design; and
Connect with others, if desired, to provide mutual support and accountability.


January 5-30 One week hiatus (January 16-23) to allow reflection and application of principles.


Online, moderated and facilitated through a private Yahoo group. Two lectures distributed per week with opportunity for discussion.


$25 Payable by check or credit card through PayPal

Cyndy Salzmann is a multi-published author in both fiction and nonfiction. Her latest project is a lighthearted mystery series set in Omaha which is published by Howard Books – an imprint of Simon & Schuster Publishing Company. Dying to Decorate, the first book of the Friday Afternoon Club mystery series was released in June, 2005. Book two, Crime & Clutter, released in April, 2007. She is currently contracted for a yet to be titled narrative nonfiction project set in the Jim Crow South.

Ms. Salzmann is a popular national speaker at both women’s events and writers’ conferences, a newspaper columnist and the host of a weekly radio feature aired on Moody Broadcasting. As part of the promotion of her books, she has appeared as a guest on more than 100 radio and television programs.

Before making a decision to devote her energy fulltime to writing and speaking, Ms. Salzmann was the principal of the public relations and marketing firm she founded. Salzmann & Associates served a client list that included nonprofit organizations as well as Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia and has worked as a news reporter in both television and radio.


Click here to make your payment and register for the course. Within 24 hours you will receive an invitation from Yahoo to join the course loop. The course will begin on January 5 with a welcome message from the instructor and invitation to introduce yourself to the group. The first lecture will arrive January 6th.


Feel free to contact Cyndy by email with any questions:

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Movie Review: Mama Mia

So, I rented a stack of movies for the holiday, and last night I watched Mama Mia, which everyone has raved about. I liked The Mummy 2 better.

Why, in the name of all that is logical and pleasant to my ears, did they cast a musical and not use SINGERS? Or dancers for that matter? Who in their right mind allowed Pierce Brosnon (how do you spell that?) to humiliate himself? I was embarrassed for him and could barely stand to watch as he tried to sing.

Meryl Streep did a fine job, and they chose a girl with a good voice for her daughter, but the rest: P. U.

Those were 2 hours of my life I will never get back.