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Feeling Blue

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When I was a young child, my parents took in a teenage boy who was having trouble at home. He lived with us for several years and was like a big brother to me. Time passed, Kenny went on to join the Merchant Marines, then had a family of his own. Over the years, he stayed very close with my parents, who were more parents to him than his own every were, and my parents were like grandparents to his children.

I hadn't seen Kenny for many years, until my father was dying. At that point, Kenny made a point of coming over while I was visiting so we could have time together. He was big and strong, like I remembered him, covered with tattoos, a gruff but gentle giant. He brought over a favorite photo he had of us together when I was little and he was a teenager. We were huddled together, head to head, looking at a baby bird that I had found somewhere. The photo, black and white, was tattered and well loved, and he wanted me to have it.

When we had the memorial service for my parents, who died just weeks apart, Kenny was just out of the hospital for heart problems, and couldn't make it. He felt terrible about that... he had really wanted to be there.

Today I received a call from someone I didn't know, a man's voice saying, "Chris, is this Chris?" then hanging up. I hit redial to find out what the call was about. It was Kenny's son, who was calling to let me know that Kenny had just died. He had gone in for knee surgery, was released from the hospital, then had a fatal heart attack at home.

I called my brother to let him know. That was hard because my brother and Kenny were closer in age and, both still living in the same state, spent more time together as adults. We both feel like we have lost a brother.

I have been sad all day, and being glad that my parents didn't have to know about this, then missing my parents terribly as well. A walk helped a little bit, but mostly I've felt pretty lethargic and down. The memorial service is today, but it is 700 miles away, so I won't be going. My brother will be there, though.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Chris, I am so sorry for your loss,that is so sad. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and may time and prayers heal the pain and sadness you feel. May Good Friday be a beautiful day for you. Hugs, Diana emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 4/1/2010 3:55AM

    Oh Chris, what a sad story. I'm sorry for your loss. It's even harder when you can't get to the farewell service. Hang on to the memories of Kenny that make you smile. In time the pain will fade. Praying for your comfort, hugs too.

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WESTCOASTGIRL1 3/31/2010 6:57PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so hard and I find it does always bring back previous loss. My heart is heavy for you. I know the loss of parents are heart wrenching and a sibling just adds to the pain that words can't express. I lost my sister first and then 2 years later my mom and shortly after my dad.
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and if you need an ear. I am here.
emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 3/31/2010 11:59AM

    My dear friend,
I am so sincerely sorry for your losses. Please don't fret about not being there as he knows you loved him dearly in life and that is what counts. Take some more walks. He and your parents live on in your memory and though you miss them, the memories can be sweet.
emoticon emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 3/31/2010 7:56AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing someone who has shared your history is so very hard. Take time to reflect and take care of yourself.

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SILVERWITCH59 3/31/2010 7:44AM

    OMG I am so sorry for your loss. I only have one brother and I know how special that is. I can not even imagine your pain emoticon

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AQUAJANE 3/31/2010 7:10AM

    My condolences as well, though I must also say that I'm glad you followed up on those hang-up calls.Somehow with all the new growth in the spring (and I love that photo of Stella eying the chicks) , the losses and emptiness get forgotten. I hope you have a copy of that childhood photo to keep. emoticon

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CLEVAGAL 3/31/2010 6:44AM

    Oh Chris, theres nothing I can say that hasnt been said by the others. I wish you didnt write so well sometimes! As I read your blog I could feel the quiet saddness you feel. Kenny is wherever you believe he is now. Love Cleva xxx

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TINYC887 3/31/2010 4:20AM

    I'm sorry about your loss. It's so hard to lose someone but hang on to the memories.

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KBUCKMASH 3/31/2010 1:43AM

    My condolences to you and your brother. You said you have been missing your parents. It is natural to miss those that have left us to be missed at the of another passing. You also said you were glad your parents didn't have to know about this, but I believe they knew before you. They were there to welcome him into their world. Be happy for all of them. Say a prayer and ask that the bond you and Kenny had when younger will continue. If you do not already have a guardian angel, am sure he would love to be yours.
emoticon and emoticon

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    Chris, I am sorry for your loss. I recently lost a cousin who was more like a brother to me because he lived with us for a year when I was in the third grade. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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MARY1313 3/30/2010 11:53PM

    Oh sweet Chris! My heart just aches for you. I am like you, I guess, I now only have one brother left. Parents are gone too. I will keep you in my prayers my friend. I know there are no words I can say that will take your pain away, but just know you have lots of friends here that love you and look to see where you've been every day. I believe family takes place in the heart too, just like the other poster said.

emoticon emoticon


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JJJ510 3/30/2010 11:35PM

    My condolences also... emoticon

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GRNISHADE 3/30/2010 11:10PM

    Family is in the heart, not the veins... How hard to lose your parents so close to each other, and now your brother, and yes, I do believe he is your brother. I wanted to share a quote that a very dear friend shared with me when my father passed:

"They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are"
~ St. John Chrysostom

You are in my prayers...

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BUNNYSPAL 3/30/2010 10:30PM

    Family doesn't always have the same blood. My only grandparent was my mom's stepmother and blood didn't matter. I am sorry for your loss. It was good that you did get to see him and share that picture. Keep him in your heart and hold on to your memories.

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LMB-ESQ 3/30/2010 10:20PM

    emoticon Chris, I am so sorry for your loss. I have no doubt that Kenny was as close to you as any blood brother could have been. Please accept my condolences.

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The Nursery Expands

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The chick box was getting a little small so I decided to move the babies into the X pen, which used to be Stella's when she was a puppy. Oh, my - the chicks look lost in it!

Of course, the nursery is still set up in my bedroom emoticon

I am still afraid to move them out into the rest of the house because of the cats. What I need is a roof for the pen so I can feel secure about their safety.

Stella is wondering how she ever fit in there, and if, possibly, I'd let her in now to play with the babies. Can't you almost hear her say, "Pleeeease????"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/1/2010 3:51AM

    Are the squeaky toys the reason you're up and blogging in the wee hours with me?
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    What a cute chick! Baby chickens are so adorable and so much fun! Enjoy!

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CHICK_MAMA 3/30/2010 9:39PM

    Glad others have babies in the house too! I use tree netting on the tops to keep the babies in and the cats out. I have found it at Home Depot and WalMart in the garden section. It is pretty inexpensive and reusable for the next bunch of babies.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 3/30/2010 9:39PM

    Lol - I think Stella might remove the squeakers from those squeaky toys. :)

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CLEVAGAL 3/30/2010 7:45PM

    As always I look forward to your blogs, especially the updates about the chicks. How long do they have to be protected before they can go into the hen house?
Clevaxxxx emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 3/30/2010 6:04PM

    I was afraid of that! emoticon Oh well, it seems you have more than the cats to be concerned about. Good luck!!

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GRNISHADE 3/30/2010 6:01PM

    Stella is being such a good girl! My border collie would have already taken the pen apart and had lunch! The pen is a good idea though. I am still trying to decide where I'm going to stash the babies until they are bigger. Seven days and counting to my little chicks arrival!

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SILVERWITCH59 3/30/2010 5:19PM

    LOL our one dog was really interested and loved to watch our first chick s only had a few so they were in a wire dog crate... once they were older we put them outside and they escaped the pen ..she no longer watched she chased them till they did not play any more. it was so sad.
I keep the chicks in pac and play type play pens now and use netting to cover the tops other wise they fly out after a few weeks.it is easy to cut and secure with a piece of elastic. I also have to keep them locked in a room because of the cats .Have fun :) emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 3/30/2010 2:31PM

    Not maternal. I had a very maternal basset hound once; she would adopt whole litters of kittens.

As far as Stella is concerned, I have stashed 12 squeaky toys in her Xpen and she wants to play!

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OLDERDANDRT 3/30/2010 2:00PM

    Stella really seems to have a maternal instinct.....unless maybe she thinks they are really cool toys that make interesting little noises! lol! Have any spare screens around? That might work as a top cover for your little area.
Really cute!!

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0309COOKIE 3/30/2010 1:39PM

    Yeah, I think Stella is most interested in these new little beings!

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~MISS_TEA~ 3/30/2010 1:28PM

    so adorable. . .thanks for sharing!

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Organization - Day 2!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting there!

Day 1 -

Clean bathroom emoticon

Clean bedroom emoticon

Day 2 -

Organize music room emoticon

Okay, I promise not to post each little organizational accomplishment, but since what I did today was to organize and then reward myself with a shopping trip and lunch out with a friend, I don't have much to blog about. Actually, I have a blog cooking about ADD. When I posted my last blog about my nemesis, The Clutter Monster, it seemed like there are more of us than just me who live with the effects of ADD. I do want to post about that, but I want to spend a little time gathering my thoughts. Hopefully, I'll have that blog ready tomorrow.

This is one of my favorite places in the house. Aside from my instruments, my favorite thing is the bird bath my 83 year old aunt made for me. It is centered between the mandolin and guitar - the photo resize made it a little hard to see. It is far too special to put outside, so it is where I can enjoy it while absorbed in my music meditations.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

~MISS_TEA~ 3/30/2010 1:33PM

    Great blog! The birdbath is great! I am glad you can enjoy it!

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HEALTHYDIANAMB 3/29/2010 11:27PM

    Hi Chris, how's spring break going? From the looks of it you are not wasting a moment.How's the bitties,our oldest daughter calls the chicks bitties and has since we started this chicken thing.I hope your weather is nice for you. I can't say ours has been,but I am gonna try to will the nice weather back. Your room is so lovely and so are the music instruments. Curly says a woof woof to Beautiful Stella! I think he has a crush on her,shh,LOL. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/29/2010 11:29:52 PM

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CLEVAGAL 3/29/2010 7:38PM

    Thats great Chris that the house is getting in order....well done! Clevaxxx emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 3/29/2010 6:59PM

    Lovely!!! Wish I had room for a music room!! Beautiful birdbath, too.

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Getting Organized

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One of my April goals is to get organized. One of my strengths is being active and busy. I am never bored, and I always have something interesting to do. The flip side of that is that I have so many things going on that I leave a trail of clutter everywhere I go. Add to that that I am very ADD, it has been a consistent problem for me.

So April is a month that I have promised myself to work on my organizational skills. I know it isn't April yet, but I am giving it a jump start. My short terms goals are to keep an organization journal, set small, obtainable goals, and stick to a (short) organization project until it is complete instead of flitting from one project to the next so nothing ever looks complete.

This morning's project was clean my bathroom. Like everything else in my house, it wasn't actually dirty, just cluttered. This morning I polished mirrors, dusted the wood until it glowed, and organized my sink counter.

This morning, while out on my early Stella walk, I collected the daffodils from the woods that had been beaten down by the rain and brought them in to enjoy in the house. I selected a bouquet of the smaller ones for my bathroom. I always like to have a special serenity corner in each of my rooms.

My reward to myself for staying on task this morning is is being able to actually see my serenity corner. emoticon

Off to a nice start this morning!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOR2BFIT 3/29/2010 10:17PM

    Looks heavenly!

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BECKIWO 3/29/2010 12:52PM

    This is one of my goals too! You inspire me.

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UUCEEJAY 3/29/2010 8:45AM

    Beautiful bathroom with the daffodils! Organization has always been a problem for me too. Clutter-yep! I can relate to that. emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/29/2010 6:47AM

    We must be thinking very similar. I can be a little messy in that I leave stuff every where I go.

I cleaned the master bath on Saturday and then went on to the guest bath. I took everything off the counter and it looks GREAT and a little more organized.

I didn't have an daffodils but I love them in your bath. Awesome.

Take care and keep up the good work. You inspire me to continue!

Hugs, Sunny

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BIRDBRAIN222 3/28/2010 11:24PM

    Wow, nice! I desperately need to declutter my house. I have ADD too. Plus I'd rather be birding! I've noticed the ADD actually helps with being a good birder. I am easily distracted visually and aurally, so I notice every little sound and movement. I once found a snake because I heard it hissing!

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GRNISHADE 3/28/2010 10:44PM

    What a beautiful room and the daffodils are the perfect touch!

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CLEVAGAL 3/28/2010 8:56PM

    Ahhhh bulbs! I miss being South and able to grow them. We can only grow orientals here! Bathroom is glowing!!!!! Cleva xxx emoticon

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MARY1313 3/28/2010 7:43PM


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SILVERWITCH59 3/28/2010 6:21PM


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DEBSZOO74 3/28/2010 5:51PM

    This is a great blog and just what I needed to see today! I've been working on de-cluttering and organizing projects during March and will continue in April. I love doing crafts, which adds to the piles of clutter, but I'm working on them, too.
I think I'll work on my bathroom counter today.

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FT4EVR 3/28/2010 3:49PM

    Great idea! Small obtainable goals....that is what I need! I am going to try that. I leave a clutter trail too! Thanks for blogging about it. Your bathroom is very nice. Like the flower idea. What to come over and help me?

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OLDERDANDRT 3/28/2010 3:41PM

    What a lovely bathroom!! It would be a joy to sit on the throne in there a bit!! Good for you getting a jump on your Spring cleaning and organizing. I am a clutter bug, that is clutter seems to be my shadow most of the time and the family (just DH and DS) don't seem to know how to help, so it's a never-ending battle. Just gotta k
eep trying to keep up.
The daffs really do make a serene corner for you. Nice touch!

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0309COOKIE 3/28/2010 3:34PM

    What a nice touch to the bathroom having daffodils! Love it!

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HOPERISING 3/28/2010 1:06PM

    Oooh very nice! There are three kids in my household... two of mine, one of my sister's... and her husband kinda counts as the fourth child. There is no serenity to be found! Every night before bed it is my mission in life to clean the toothpaste spitties out off the sink, and disinfect the toilet where all the boys "missed". I can't imagine what would happen if I left a vase of flowers in there.... something catastrophic I'm sure! Can I come live with you for a day? LOL

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KATIEGLEN012 3/28/2010 12:09PM

    I love de-cluttering goals! I think that organized spaces fill your life with order. Not boredom, just order so you can have fun other places and know what you will come home to. I de-clutter constantly...so much so that my co-workers ask what I worked on over the weekend...and often take whatever I have gotten rid of! I want to have only things that I love or use around me.

And your bathroom looks serene!!! Doesn't it just make you feel special?

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KRITTERKEEPERS 3/28/2010 11:41AM

    What a great goal! I, too, struggle with clutter because I have so many projects going at a time right now. I'm looking forward to finishing a few of them in the next month so that I can clear the clutter they are causing.

Your bathroom photos are awesome!


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PINETREEGIRL 3/28/2010 11:20AM

    I love tasks that have a clear finished accomplishment-- how great that you decided to get a jump start on your April goals! I love your countertop, by the way...burled wood?

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ASTABETH 3/28/2010 11:09AM

    Nice! I hope to start a project like that when school lets out. Your bathroom is lovely!

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SATYAGRAHA 3/28/2010 11:03AM

    Look great! And the daffodils are beautiful! emoticon

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Bird Theme Cake Updated

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My sister is an ornithologist with the DNR. She studies endangered shorebirds, and for many years worked with researching the dwindling piping plover population.

Recently, she was asked to contribute a cake with a bird theme for a benefit. She made this one depicting a piping plover nest. She made the sand out of vanilla wafer crumbs, the nest, eggs, and shells out of marzipan, and the foot prints with a paper clip.

Absolutely nothing to do with fitness or weight loss, but I thought it was really cool.

So, as I posted on my feed earlier today, Abby's cake won 2nd prize, and was sold for $60 at the fund raiser for the Alaska Bird Observatory.

Abby just sent me the photo of the cake that one 1st prize. It was made by Trish, a friend of Abby's and mine. It is called Chickadees. I found it a bit confusing because it looked like the chickadees heads are buried in the sand, and there is what looks like a photo of chickadees withe their heads buried in the sand next to the cake.

However, I was wrong about the chickadees. I asked my sister about why they had their heads in the sand, and she told me I was seeing it wrong. That is a view looking down into the nesting box and their little heads peeking out. It's much cuter now that I see it that way.

Trish's cake is fun, but I would have voted my sister's first place, and not out of nepotism. I liked the composition better.

At any rate, the fundraiser brought over $600 in for the Alaska Bird Observatory, everyone had fun, and that was what it was all about.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIRDBRAIN222 3/28/2010 1:52AM

    I like you sister's cake better, too. Of course, I have to admit that I am nuts about shorebirds. We have Snowy Plovers that breed here, I do beach-nesting bird surveys and love it!!

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SMILEY_75 3/27/2010 11:42PM

    How creative. Talent in the kitchen. emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 3/27/2010 10:53PM

    I was wrong about the chickadees. I asked my sister about why they had their heads in the sand, and she told me I was seeing it wrong. That is a view looking down into the nesting box and their little heads peeking out. It's much cuter now that I see it that way.

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MARY1313 3/27/2010 10:46PM

    ha! I like your sis's cake better too, if you hadn't told me wat the little black headless things were I wouldn't have known!!!!!

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SILVERWITCH59 3/27/2010 10:01PM

    that is so awesome. You have a very interesting family .I think you are also very creative and must be an great teacher. Your students are very lucky to have you in their lives :)

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0309COOKIE 3/27/2010 3:31PM

    When I first viewed the picture, I thought isn't that cool. I never dreamed it was a CAKE. It is so realistic looking. Very cool.

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HOPERISING 3/27/2010 12:31PM

    thats awesome!

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FT4EVR 3/27/2010 11:53AM

    Wow! Now that is a creative cake! Thanks for sharing it!

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LMB-ESQ 3/27/2010 11:17AM

    That is pretty cool! It looks so real! Your sister must really love her work. Bless her for the good she does. emoticon emoticon

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GRNISHADE 3/27/2010 10:55AM

    WOW! Absolutely beautiful! As always, the blogs I love the most have nothing to do with weight loss! emoticon

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PLAYBLUES22 3/27/2010 9:30AM

    Now that's artistic!!!! Great imagination for a lovely cake

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SUNNY332 3/27/2010 9:23AM

    Very, very creative. I am glad you shared it with us.


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CHHAAR 3/27/2010 9:23AM

    Very cute!! I've never tried marzipan.

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DAISY_GURL_4 3/27/2010 9:17AM

    Wow - what a fantastic cake! So creative!!!!

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