“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Not a bear hibernatin' but a kitty cat-nappin' - see you soon dear friends...

Almost done with my summertime nap. Be back very soon. Lots of wonderful ideas, recipes and poetry to share along with summer family get-togethers and events. See you as soon as I wake up...hope you still remember me!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Remembrance - one of those special times when just reading isn't enough

Every now and then I read something that soothes my soul and makes me smile and gives me comfort. The following is one of those special times. I hope you enjoy Remembrance as much as I did.
When I am gone,
Please remember me;
as a heartfelt laugh, as a tenderness.
Hold fast to the image of me
when my soul was on fire;
the light of love shining through my eyes.
Remember me when I was singing
and seemed to know my way.
Remember always when we were together
and time stood still.
Remember most not what I did,
or who I was.
Oh, please remember me for
what I always desired to be.
A smile on the face of God.
~David Robert Brooks

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red - White - Blue 4th of July Bottle Cap Wreath - recycle, reuse, repurpose

Forget about tossing your bottle caps into the trash. Put a little bowl on your kitchen counter reminding friends and family to help you collect supplies for your next craft project! Too close to the 4th to gather up enough to make this wonderful wreath? Give friends and family a jingle and ask them to help your cause! If you end up with too many caps - have a party in your back yard in celebration of Independence Day - hand out the necessary supplies and make several - what a sweet idea for guests, family and friends to take home a crafting project!

bottle caps
circular wooden frame or foam wreath
2 cans white gloss spray paint
1 can red gloss spray paint
1 can blue gloss spray paint
old sheet
industrial strength glue
white ribbon

1. On a section of the sheet, spray the wooden frame with white spray paint. Make sure to cover front and sides. It will require two coats allowing to dry between coats.
2. Lay out bottle caps in three piles with the the tops face down. You will need twice as many bottle caps for the white caps than red and blue ones. Spray each group twice, make sure dry between coats. Flip bottle caps over and spray again twice.
3. Glue a single layer of white bottle caps (face down) in a single layer to the frame. Let dry.
4. Alternating blue and red bottle caps (second layer) glue on top of the first layer. Let dry
5. Add several white caps (third layer) on top of red and blue layer.
6. Wrap ribbon around wreath and tie on top in a bow. Nail to door through the back of the ribbon.

Just like the pioneers that traveled across the United States or today’s cowboys, the red bandanna is an iconic symbol of the American spirit.  For the Fourth of July use RED BANDANNAS AS NAPKINS (just like our forefathers) and tie with twine.  Include a map of the United States and ask guests to name as many states as possible in five minutes.  By adding a prize it will kick off the Fourth in a fun with lots of fun and - a little insight as to who stayed awake in American History class

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Brave - remarkable - devoted - focused: Mothers are cut from sturdy and resilient cloth

A dear friend sent this video to me this morning. As I was watching it my heart began to swell with pride - and, quite frankly a little tear caught at the corner of my eye. Mothers belong to a remarkable sorority. A group of individuals who have the courage to brave possible death at the hands of giants (human beings in this case) to care for their babies. I, for one, am proud to be part of a group that counts this little hummingbird momma as one of its members.

Mothers don't have to give birth to belong to this exclusive sorority. All a female has to do is love another deeply and completely and without question and her dues are paid in full.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coming out of my hole in the wall to vent!

I watched with great interest the debate about health care reform. Democrat, Republican, Independent - all of us get sick and all of us die and none of us are immune to illness or disease. My mother died as a result of her breast cancer. My sister has had cancer. My interest in this matter is keen. So, today when I read the following my blood pressure began to rise. Oh, how I wish I could take a paddle and whop the insurance industry and especially the executives who run those companies. They are evil - flat out evil, IMHO.

And, then when I was done spanking the insurance company executives, I would head for DC and round up the lobbyists, congressmen and women and senators and ask all of them to bend over, too. 

You don't have to leave a comment. I know this blog post isn't all pink and sweet and cute and pretty but sometimes life isn't pretty and it gets messy and this is one of those times.

Wellpoint Lobbyists Axed Key Protections for Breast Cancer Patients From Health Care Bill

HuffingtonPost.com Federal investigators have told Reuters that WellPoint, the country's largest insurance company, is using an algorithm to identify women with breast cancer for the express purpose of dropping their coverage.

Murray Waas writes that WellPoint "specifically targeted women with breast cancer for aggressive investigation with the intent to cancel their policies":

The women all paid their premiums on time. Before they fell ill, none had any problems with their insurance. Initially, they believed their policies had been canceled by mistake.

They had no idea that WellPoint was using a computer algorithm that automatically targeted them and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The software triggered an immediate fraud investigation, as the company searched for some pretext to drop their policies, according to government regulators and investigators.

Wellpoint claimed that these women had made material misrepresentations in order to justify dropping their coverage, but Waas says they were dropped "based on either erroneous or flimsy information." Last week, Waas reported that AIDS patients were being similarly targeted for recision.

The version of health care bill passed by the House of Representatives would've allowed these women to apply to an "independent external third party" for review before being dropped. It also would have required Wellpoint to keep their coverage in place until the board made its determination, and policies could only be canceled in cases with "clear and convincing evidence of fraud."

Those provisions were not included in the Senate Finance Committee bill, however, which became the basis for the final health care bill signed by the President. Reuters says that Wellpoint lobbyists "helped quash proposed provisions that would have required a third party review of its or any other insurance company's decision to cancel a customer's policy."

As Marcy Wheeler reported last year, the Senate Finance Committee bill was written by former WellPoint VP Liz Fowler, who left her position at the insurance company in February 2009 expressly for the purpose of helping the committee to draft the health care bill: 
And when Max Baucus did a "victory lap" after the health care bil passed, he expressly thanked Fowler for her work:

I wish to single out one person, and that one person is sitting next to me. Her name is Liz Fowler. Liz Fowler is my chief health counsel. Liz Fowler has put my health care team together. Liz Fowler worked for me many years ago, left for the private sector, and then came back when she realized she could be there at the creation of health care reform because she wanted that to be, in a certain sense, her profession lifetime goal. She put together the White Paper last November-2008-the 87-page document which became the basis, the foundation, the blueprint from which almost all health care measures in all bills on both sides of the aisle came. She is an amazing person. She is a lawyer; she is a Ph.D. She is just so decent. She is always smiling, she is always working, always available to help any Senator, any staff. I thank Liz from the bottom of my heart. In many ways, she typifies, she represents all of the people who have worked so hard to make this bill such a great accomplishment.

Susan Bayh, wife of Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, is on the WellPoint board. Bayh threatened to join Joe Lieberman in a filibuster of the health care bill if a public option was included, something that would very much threaten WellPoint profits -- which have soared in the past year. Susan Bayh's compensation for her role on the WellPoint board includes valuable stock options.

Before the health care bill passed, Harry Reid promised Bernie Sanders that there would be a vote on the public option "in the coming months," and anonymous "hill aides" said that they were looking to use the reconciliation process, such that only 50 Senate votes were needed for passage. In exchange, Sanders offered to give up on his plans to offer a public option amendment. A public option would mean that at the very least, breast cancer and AIDS patients who were unfairly dropped from private insurance plans had some place to go for medical coverage.

But the Senate budget committee is marking up next year's budget right now, and according to the Hill, there are no plans to include reconciliation instructions for health care. Which means that for the next year, any plan to "fix it later" would require 60 votes in the Senate -- but the public option doesn't have 60 votes. Which means Reid punk'd Sanders, Jeff Merkley and other progressive Senators to secure their votes.

It's shameful that Wellpoint lobbyists were successful in keeping key protections for those with breast cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses out of the Senate bill. But it's even more shameful that Harry Reid has no intention of keeping his promise to fix the health care bill any time soon -- and that members of the Senate with serious conflicts of interest will profit handsomely as a result.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm not gone

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake


* 1-1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafers (about 18 cookies)*
* 6 tablespoons butter, melted*
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 8-ounce package semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur or you may substitute Irish cream Cremora
* 2 tablespoons whipping cream or milk
* 2 teaspoons vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. For crust: In a medium bowl, combine crushed chocolate wafers, melted butter, and cinnamon; toss gently to mix. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the side of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. For filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and melted chocolate. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in eggs just until combined. Stir in liqueur, whipping cream or milk, and vanilla.

3. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in shallow baking pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.

4. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen from side of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove side of springform pan. Cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.

5. *Note: If using a 10-inch springform pan, use 1-3/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers (about 21 cookies) and 7 tablespoons butter, melted, for the crust.

Monday, March 08, 2010

♥Rich, moist Orange Coffee Cake♥

This cake is so good, it reminds me of pastry. Sanding sugar gives this cake a crunchy top and keeps the inside moist.

1/2 cup oil, plus more for the pan
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/4th cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sanding sugar (can be purchased at Michael’s or your local bakery or pastry shop)
Orange segments, for serving


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan with olive oil. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and brush paper with the oil.

In a food processor process together oil, eggs, 1 cup sugar, and juice until smooth. Add cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and orange zest and process. Add flour and pulse until just combined. Pour batter into the cake pan and sprinkle top evenly with 1/3 cup sanding sugar.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, invert cake onto a plate, and remove the parchment paper. Gently flip cake back over onto a cooling rack. Cool completely and serve with orange segments.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

♥Coconut Macaroon Bird's Nest Cookies♥

Moist coconut macaroons that look like little nests with an egg inside. The instructions may look a bit long, but this is an easy cookie to make.

2 egg whites, at room temperature
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1/4th teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 (14 ounce) bag sweetened coconut flakes. (I used Mounds)
16 to 18 white chocolate Lindt Lindor balls (2 bags)

1. Move the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 275 degrees. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Separate eggs, put the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Save the yolks for something else. Set aside.

3. Microwave hazelnuts on high in a small bowl two times for 30 seconds each time. Stir in between cooking times. Immediately rub together in a paper towel to remove a little of the excess skin. Leave most of the skin on. Chop coarsely and set aside.

4. Melt baking chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave on high 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each stop until melted. Set aside.

5. With a hand mixer or stand mixer beat the egg whites on high until stiff and glossy. Add the salt, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate. Beat until mixed. Stir in the coconut and hazelnuts.

6. Scoop into mounds with a small (size 24) ice-cream scoop or a 1/4th cup dry measuring cup. Place on cookie sheets and make an indent in the middle with your thumb.

7. Place both cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Switch the cookies to the opposite shelf halfway through baking. This will prevent overbrowning. Meanwhile unwrap the candy.

8. Immediately move cookies to a cooling rack and set a timer for exactly 5 minutes (and see notes). Working quickly, set the Lindt balls on top of the cookies. Let cool completely. The Lindt balls may drip a little so you may want to place a sheet of parchment underneath the cookies.

Notes: These cookies need to be just warm enough for the Lindt balls to stick, but if the cookies are too warm the white chocolate will melt into goo. Check and place the Lindt balls on the cookies when they are just slightly warm to the touch, but not hot.

Makes 16 to 18 large cookies.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

♥When just one equals one million on Pink Saturday♥

I have been abundantly blessed the by heavens. As a young woman I gave birth to two, healthy, gorgeous sons. Those sons married lovely girls who presented me with seven of the most adorable grandchildren. Out of those seven - there is one, little girl, Rachel Elizabeth, who truly IS all sugar and spice and love and cuddles and curls.

When holidays roll by during the year, Rachel's mommy, Becky, pulls out all of the arts and crafts supplies in their home (volumes, really) and the family sits down to make cards and presents. This Valentine's Day a large, manila envelope arrived at my home with four of the sweetest Valentine's that Rachel and her three brothers had made for me, their Mimi.

With her little thumbs dipped in paint Rachel was helped to make the Valentine you see below. Now, this little card is only one in what must be millions that were sent this year from friends to friends - relatives to relatives - and sweetheart to sweetheart. But THIS ONE - THIS ONE is worth a MILLION DOLLARS and you'll not be able to convince me otherwise.

More Pink Saturday sweetness can be found at Beverly's HOW SWEET the SOUND. Each week this lovely lady takes the time to host this special event focusing on a color that sends it's participants to swooning and fainting! Go see, you won't be disappointed and when you are finished visiting the blogs you will be IN THE PINK!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pink Saturday apology and regrets...

I am so sorry that I did not do my Pink Saturday post for you today. The wonderful post I had planned will be here for you next week and you will just melt it is so precious.

Most of you know that I volunteer for animal rescue and help at our shelter. Tragically, someone in animal rescue passed away as a result of her own hand yesterday and I just didn't feel like posting something all cheery and pink when my ♥ is so very sad.

Whenever we, as mere human beings, try so desperately to save lives (animal or human),  it can be horribly depressing when we realize that we can't save them all. Most of us work through the depression and come out on the other side stronger and better and more determined. However, and sadly, not all of us come out on the other side alive...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine cookies for my source of unconditonal l♥ve on Pink Saturday

Yesterday I was unsure about what I would like to share for Pink Saturday. I thought of this and I thought of that and then it hit me like a ton of kibble! Our local dog park was having a bake sale on Friday and I had promised to make some of my hand-dipped dog treats for the table. So, what would any self-respecting dog-momma make other than treats decorated and bagged for Valentine's Day. It was a no-brainer - I could make my treats and do Pink Saturday at the same time!


Normally I would have cropped the photo above a little closer but I wanted to show the cord to the left of the dipping bowl. One of the things that always frustrated me when I would dip cookies, candies, pretzels or dog treats was the fact that after a while the chocolate would begin to thicken as it cooled. 

On Friday I remembered that I had just purchased a new candle warmer for the family room. The light went off in my head! I could use the little warmer to keep my white chocolate from getting thick as it cooled. I am here to tell you that it works like a charm! One of my greatest frustrations had just disappeared! Now, all I have to do is buy another candle warmer for the family room!


My little dog cookies all decorated and ready for the bake sale. Well, not 'all' of them. Scout and Freyja made me promise to keep a few bags at home for them
Scout and Freyja's basket of Valentine treats! Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Cuddle and kiss everyone you love - even if they do have hairy lips☺

Stop on over to Beverly's HOW SWEET the SOUND today for the list of all the blogs celebrating PINK SATURDAY today. You are in for a special treat - they are some of the sweetest bloggers in the Universe.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Don't grill cheese - grill CHOCOLATE to say 'I ♥ you' on Valentine's Day

I don't think my son would want me fixing these for lunch every time I had his little boys for lunch, but every now and then you just have to throw caution to the wind - put on a happy face - sing a little song - and make a grilled sandwich that will NEVER be forgotten. These are one of those sandwiches - YUM! You will have everyone at the table eating out of the palm of your hand...


* 2 (0.375-oz.) good-quality Ghirardelli chocolate squares
* 2 slices French bread
* 3 teaspoons butter, melted (no margarine)
* Powdered sugar
* Garnish: raspberries, strawberries, fresh orange sections


Place chocolate squares between 2 French bread slices; brush both sides of sandwich with 1 1/2 tsp. melted butter. Cook in a hot nonstick skillet over medium heat until chocolate is melted and bread is golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar. Garnish with raspberries, if desired.

Other good fillings to include with your chocolate would be raspberry jam, marshmallow cream, toasted pecans, peanut butter, toasted coconut and sliced bananas. All of them compliment the rich chocolate in your sandwich perfectly.
For a little fun, cut bread into heart or other desired shape before filling with chocolate and cooking. We all have great cookie cutters around the house. They're not just for cookies anymore☺

Friday, February 05, 2010

Animals slaughtered for their fur leave living legacy for wildlife babies

Mimi's note: Each and every day animals throughout our world are slaughtered in the most inhumane fashion for NO other reason than to feed the vanity of human beings. Now, those dear animals that have lost their lives can help orphaned wildlife babies to live. Please, do all you can to help this most worthy endeavor. I cannot think of a better way to honor the dead than to help the living.

By Andrea Cimino If you strayed into the back office of our Fur-Free Campaign, you might think you were in a fur warehouse, rather than in the headquarters of an international animal protection organization. Our staff spends hours each week packing and labeling boxes of fur for shipping—not to fur shops, but to wildlife rehabilitators who use it as bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife such as raccoons, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and even bobcats. Wildlife rehabilitators say the fur reduces stress in their animal patients, perhaps reminding them of the comfort of snuggling up to their mothers.

Everyday Heroes Donate Fur 
Presidents of PR firms, fashion editors, and Long Island homemakers are just a few of the people who made the compassionate decision to become fur-free and donate their fur to The HSUS. From Hawaii to Maine, from England to Slovenia, former fur wearers (and people who have inherited furs from relatives or friends) are proud—and often relieved—to donate their furs to The HSUS. 

Each fur donor has their own story to tell. Many people who inherit fur have been long-time supporters of animal protection and would never dream of wearing fur. Yet they don't want to toss out the fur that a relative gave them, nor do they want to resell the fur, and have it be worn by somebody else. For them, donating the coat to help wildlife presents the perfect solution:
Sentimental and Squeamish: A donor from Costa Mesa, California, who sent us a mink stole told us, "I'm not comfortable wearing fur, and because it has sentimental value, I didn't want to just throw it away. Thank you for providing a great use for this fur."
Scared by a Stole: Another donor in Cary, North Carolina, parted with her grandmother's fur with a sense of humor. "Here is a scary-looking fur stole I found among my grandmother's belongings," she told us. "Hopefully the orphaned animals won't find it as disconcerting as I did."
Garish Gift: We also receive many donations from people who received fur as a gift, showing that fur is never a wise choice for a present, since so many people are upset about the animal cruelty inherent in fur garments. Not comfortable refusing the fur, and even more uncomfortable with the thought of wearing it, these people turn to the Coats for Cubs program.
Other donors tell us they purchased a fur item before they realized the extent of the cruelty behind each fur coat, trimmed garment, or accessory. Through their HSUS membership, information from a friend, or an article or video on the fur industry, these fur donators say they realize that the animals need their fur more than we do. The images of animals pacing in tiny wire cages on fur farms or caught in cruel devices such as the steel-jaw leghold trap drive home the idea that fur is cruel and unnecessary. Giving fur back to animals can be an ideal way to provide a happy ending for an item with such a sad beginning.
Fleece Is Warmer than Fox: One donor told us that she bought a pair of fox fur-lined gloves upon moving to Alaska. Shortly afterward, she saw her first arctic fox, who was walking through her backyard. It dawned on her that the fur looked better on the fox than in her gloves, and she decided to donate them to Coats for Cubs. She even sent us a picture of herself wearing fleece garments in the great Alaskan outdoors, telling us how much warmer fleece is than fur.
Rethinking Rabbit: Another donor from Castleton, New York, thanked us for "making me aware of a good use for this rabbit fur coat. I certainly wasn't thinking of the unfortunate rabbits when I purchased it for my daughter about 15 years ago. We are both much more aware now, and are very pleased to know that it may help other animals recover."
New School of Thought: A donor from Middlebury, Vermont, wrote us, "I haven't known what to do with these fur coats for the past 25 years, ever since I became aware of the fur issue. I wish I had been made aware of it in school, before I ever had a chance to buy these two coats. Thanks for coordinating this effort."
Many of the furs donated to us are in near-perfect condition, and might have earned these everyday heroes a lot of money if they resold the items. But for many people, the chance to right the wrong done to the animals killed for their fur is more important than any financial gain. 

The Cubs They Saved
The payoff of Coats for Cubs is helping injured and orphaned wildlife with the donated furs. Coats for Cubs has sent donated furs to wildlife centers such as The Fund for Animals' Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Ramona, California, Larimer Humane Society in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Ohio Wildlife Center in Columbus, Ohio, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, British Columbia, Helping Arkansas Wild "Kritters" (HAWK) in Russellville, Arkansas, and to independent wildlife rehabilitators licensed by their state wildlife agencies. 

While we send furs to wildlife rehabilitators all over North America, we've given extra to the Gulf area in recent months. Suzy Heck of Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, thanked us for sending the furs, explaining that because the center lost everything "due to Hurricane Rita and the flood after, these furs will be much appreciated. We are getting animals in, many still storm related, and soon, the orphans will be appearing."

Anna Harvey, a rehabilitator in Osceola, Iowa, took in a litter of orphaned opossums from a woman who climbed into a dumpster to rescue them. Their mother had been hit by a car, and someone had thoughtlessly thrown the litter into the dumpster. Harvey used our donated fur to comfort the orphans, and reported that they responded well to the fur. "The woman who rescued the opossums from the dumpster is a big hero, as are the people who sent the furs to you. Opossums love the long fur. They are doing well and eating a bit on their own," she wrote to us.

Tracy Beasley, a rehabilitator in Davis, Oklahoma, told us, "my favorite thing to do with the furs is to sew them into pouches of different sizes with draw string tops. They are excellent for orphaned opossums and raccoons. It makes them feel secure and keeps them warm."

In one case, the fur from Coats for Cubs made the difference between life and death. Lynne Slater, a rehabilitator in Arkansas, received a week-old bobcat whose mother had been killed by a car. Slater tried removing the bobcat kitten from the bed at feeding time several times, but the kitten simply would not suckle a baby bottle. Then inspiration struck, and she cut a hole in a Coats for Cubs fur, stuck the baby bottle nipple through the hole, and voila, the kitten drank hungrily. This technique worked until weaning time. Slater said, "Without the Coats for Cubs program, we wouldn't have been able to help this bobcat kitten survive. Thanks so much."

What Kind of Furs do People Donate?
The boxes of fur we ship out to wildlife rehabilitators contain common types of fur like mink, fox, rabbit, and raccoon. Occasionally we receive rarer types of fur, such as lynx and seal fur. The strangest coat of all was a vintage monkey fur coat, now fortunately illegal under CITES.
The donations range from full length fur coats to accessories such as stoles, capes, hats, and handbags, and fur trimmed items such as gloves and jackets.

How Do I Donate?
The HSUS is partnering with Buffalo Exchange, a vintage clothing chain with 25 stores across the country, to collect all kinds of fur, including coats, trim, and accessories. Now through Earth Day, April 22, 2006, you can bring your fur to any Buffalo Exchange store and let the staff know it is a donation for The HSUS. Click here for a list of store locations.

How Will I Know That The HSUS Has Received My Donation?
If you want to receive a letter of thanks, please include a note inside the box stating your email address or your mailing address requesting an acknowledgment.  If you've requested an acknowledgment, you will be sent a letter of thanks 2-3 weeks after the fur has arrived.  Please save this letter if you want to claim a tax deduction.

What Do I Need to Do If I Want to Claim a Tax Deduction?
If you itemize deductions, you can claim the fair market value of your donation. The fair market value is the amount for which you could sell the fur today—not how much it cost to purchase the fur. This is a judgment call that you will have to make, based on the condition and type of the fur. If you value the fur at $5,000 or more, the Internal Revenue Service will require a "Qualified Appraisal." You must have this appraisal performed before you donate the fur. You may need to include the letter of receipt from The HSUS in your tax returns. If you have any questions, you may want to consult your tax attorney.

I Am a Wildlife Rehabilitator—How Can I Participate?
As more people hear about this wonderful way to aid wildlife, fur donations to The HSUS increase. We are always looking for wildlife rehabilitators who will give the fur back to the animals. If you would like to help, just send an e-mail to furfree@hsus.org, call 301–258-1490, or write to
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
Attn: Coats for Cubs

To claim a tax deduction for your gift, please mail it directly to The HSUS. Simply pack up the fur in a sturdy box and send it to:
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L. St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
attn: Coats for Cubs

Please make sure to include your full name and address so The HSUS can mail you a letter suitable for claiming a tax deduction. For more information on the program and claiming a tax deduction, see www.hsus.org/furdonation.
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Loveable Conversation ♥Heart♥ Fudge - have some fun with the kids!

If your little guy tongue-tied when it comes to expressing his feelings (heck the big ones are, too☺), let this microwave fudge do the talking. The recipe's simple enough for older children to do with a little supervision from you. If you have really little dudes in the house, let the older ones make the fudge and the little guys can help decorate! There's always room for everyone when it comes to some good times in the kitchen that will leave lasting memories. Because, that's what it's all about - right - making those memories. (PS: Posted this after I took the pain meds for my back - wonder what I'll find in the morning, hehehe.)


1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Dash of salt

1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Dash of salt

Aluminum foil
64 conversation hearts
64 red foil bonbon cups or mini muffin cups
Clear or red cellophane wrap, cut into 64 5- by 6-inch rectangles
Sparkly pipe cleaners in red, pink, or silver Instructions

Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl, combine the dark chocolate layer ingredients. Microwave the mixture on high at 30-second intervals until the chocolate is melted (about a minute), stirring at each interval. When the mixture's smooth, use a spatula to spread it evenly into the prepared pan.

In another medium-size microwave-safe bowl, combine the white chocolate layer ingredients. Repeat the melting process as described in step 2, but stir at 20-second intervals, as white chocolate tends to scorch easily. Spread the white chocolate evenly over the dark chocolate layer.

While the fudge is still warm, use a knife to gently score it into 1-inch squares, then put a candy heart on top of each square.

Chill the fudge uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until firm. Lift the foil to remove the fudge from the pan and place the whole hunk of fudge on a cutting board. Use a large knife (a parent's job) to cut apart the squares, then peel off the foil from the bottom.

Place each fudge square into a foil bonbon cup or mini muffin cup. Center the cup on a cellophane square and wrap it as shown on page 53, using 1-inch pieces of pipe cleaner to secure the ends. Makes 64 bite-size pieces. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for added firmness.