Thursday, March 08, 2012


Who knew that the grade school kids had it right all along.  Cupcakes are good—just the right amount of cake and just a little too much frosting.

I watch the Cupcake Wars on the Food Network once in a while.  It is interesting to see the unusual ingredients.  Recently, one man used a power drink in his cupcake.  The judges didn’t like it and he got eliminated.  They seem to like coffee, liquors and double and triple chocolate and even bacon.  Follow this link for a Bloody Mary Cupcake with Cayenne Pepper Buttercream frosting!

Actually, Topeka was represented on the Cupcake Wars back in the spring of 2010 by Allyson Fiander of billy vanilly.  She only made it through the first round, but said in an interview  that it was still great exposure for her business.

I watched the local grandkids for a little while this evening.  When Kim got home, she had six cup cakes from billy vanilly.  Did they ever look good.  I got to choose.  Here it is.


There’s more.



Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Buzzards are back 2012


No this picture was not taken this year. It is my picture, taken on the mail route several years ago.  It has appeared on this blog many times.  You all know I like buzzards.

Can you believe Dan spotted a couple buzzards on Friday, March 2nd?   Here’s our previous sightings:  2008 – March 20; 2009 – March 12;  2010 no record;  2011 – March 17. 

No barn swallows yet.  Neighbor Chip said he saw several Eurasian Collared Doves and snow geese migrating through.  The wheat is greening and trees showing signs of buds.  Spring seems to be slipping in, although a spring snow usually brings us back to reality.  This is an unusual year, though.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Coopers Hawk


We sighted two of these hawks working a field today.  They have a fierce look about them.  They are related to the peregrine falcon and it shows.  Luckily one has not found our bird feeders.  They like the little birds that frequent them.  However, according to All About Birds web site, bringing in the food for a couple days will urge them to  move on.  Wikipedia said they are sometimes called “chicken hawks.”  I’m sure they delight in one of those tasty grain fed dinners.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

“The Art of Hearing Heartbeats”

by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Every once in a while a story gets into my head and stays even after the book is finished.   The Art of Hearing Heartbeats makes that much of an impression.  Originally a best seller in Europe, it has only recently been transcribed into English.  That fact only demonstrates how well it is written because, even in translation, the words flow eloquently.

Set in Burma, the story spans a half century love affair between Tin Win, a blind man and Mi Mi, a crippled young lady.  But there is more.  We are placed in Burma through Julia who is following clues found in a letter written by her father, who disappeared from their New York home soon after she graduated from law school.   The little we learn about Julia and her family only makes the story set in Burma more mysterious. 

I hesitate to write any more because this beautifully written love story is meant to slowly reveal itself right up to the end.