The Toad Stabber (and Pig Pile winner!)

The last time I was in Lamar, Colorado visiting my mom and dad, Mom was fixing lunch and using The Toad Stabber.  There I was, in my forties, and only just then did I wonder for the very first time how in the world The Toad Stabber got it’s name!  All My life we’d called my mom’s best kitchen knife The Toad Stabber.  To me, referring to that knife by it’s proper name (i.e. The Toad Stabber) came as naturally as calling a peach a peach.  But until that day, I’d never really thought of it.  The Toad Stabber?  How funny!  I mean obviously

I LOVE discovering little family oral traditions like that!  Though I did snap a quick photo of mom wielding The Toad Stabber (included here) I forgot to ask why in the world we call that knife The Toad Stabber!  It’s just a plain smooth-bladed kitchen knife.  I need to call her and ask her for certain, but I’m almost 100% positive that her parents (or my dad’s parents) probably had a kitchen knife they called The Toad Stabber. (I think I should use this in a book somewhere along the way…don’t you?)  “The Toad Stabber?”  How hilarious!  I mean, obviously (though you can’t see it very well in this photo) the knife would be perfect for stabbing toads if the occasion arose that one found oneself in need of doing so…but really…why The Toad Stabber?  And maybe it’s as simple as that.  Maybe some ancestor of mine found the need to stab a toad along the way somewhere.  Yet, it’s a mystery that I’m going to have to research.  Maybe the people at ancestry.com could help me.  I love that show!  They discover a lot of interesting things!  However, I’m not sure anyone can solve the mystery of The Toad Stabber…not entirely anyway.  But I do know one thing…having a kitchen knife christened The Toad Stabber is TOTALLY my family!  And I mean my family way back for generations and generations!  It’s one thing I love so much about my family, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc…little fun, unique things like The Toad Stabber.

I need to get myself a Toad Stabber.  Though my kids are almost all out of the house, the grandbabies are just starting to come along and I think “Grandma” should have a Toad Stabber, don’t you?  I mean…really…think about it…The Toad Stabber?  It’s hilarious!  I’m not kidding…my mom never said, “Sweetie?  Will you hand me that long kitchen knife out of the drawer?”  She always said, “Sweetie?  Will you hand me The Toad Stabber?”

The Toad Stabber…and important and tangible piece of my personal and family history!  What are some of yours?

Also, I forgot to mention…that Holly B. (posted a comment on the blog) is the winner of the Pig Pile game!  I just felt so badly for your children, Holly!  E-mail and address to me where I can send your game!   (marcialmcclure@cs.com)

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30 Day Challenge-Day #7 (A picture that makes me laugh!)

Day #7 of the 30 Day Challenge (that is going to take me forever) is “A picture that makes me laugh!”  This was difficult for me at first, because there are sooooooooooooooo many!  However, what I decided to do was just open a random “pictures” file on my computer and find the first one that made me laugh…and here it is!

The truth is that photos of my sister “oft” make me laugh!  She’s just funny!  Now, I think this picture is funny anyway…just because of the expressions of my sister and her two children!  Hilarious!  However, what made me laugh even harder was when I noticed the random little hand clutching her breast at the left…and the random little foot (that must belong to the little hand) peeking out from behind her hip at the right.  Hysterical!!!!  (If you click on the photo it will get bigger so you can see it better…)  I mean seriously…who’s the poor kid that can’t even see what’s coming, where he or she is going?  All he or she can do is hang on for dear life!  Poor little thing!  And yet…it’s funny!  (It actually puts me in mind of another story…when my friend was at the awkward middle school age, she was taking swimming lessons one summer and had a giant crush on her gorgeous, male swimming instructor.  When the day came to jump off the diving board into the ‘deep’ end, the handsome swimming instructor waited below the diving board as my friend prepared to jump.  He was there for safety reasons…in case anything went wrong.  Well, my friend did finally get the guts up to jump, but when she hit the water and went so deep, she started panicking…her arms flailing around in the water trying to find SOMETHING to grab onto for help.  She found something all right…as her hands clutched the first thing they found…it ended being the ‘stuff’ secured in the front of her handsome swimming instructor’s swim trunks!)

Anyway, my sister is ‘oft’ hilarious in photographs…whether she means to be or not…and this one made me laugh out loud when I saw it!  So…that’s my 7th day of the 30 Day Challenge…a picture that makes me laugh!

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National Pig Day!!!!

Today’s the day we celebrate PIGS!  Seriously!

Years ago, I started a “Anti Bacon-Deprivation Day” with some of my friends!  One day in March, we would make a point of eating bacon (something we all love, love, love!)!  However, the funny thing was, that after a few years of celebrating “Anti Bacon-Deprivation Day,” I learned that March 1st is officially “National Pig Day!”  Awesome, huh?

So, to kick off March (which is going to be official “Brevan McLean” month in my mind and here on my blog), let’s start with celebrating “National Pig Day”!  Shall we?

Now, be sure and consume some bacon today as part of your “National Pig Day” celebration.  Maybe have BLTs for supper!  Maybe have a toasted bagel, slathered in cream cheese, and generously sprinkled with REAL Bacon Bits for breakfast or a snack!  While you’re out and about pick up a pig!  (Mitch and I are going to see Gnomeo and Juliet together today, so I’ll pick mine up then.)  It doesn’t have to be a big pig…it can be like a little farm animal or something with a picture of a pig on it!  Picking up any bacon or pork products also counts.

Next, be sure and enter my blog contest for this week!  Just tell me a pig story or tell me about the new pig you acquire today (via a comment here, Facebook or e-mail) and I’ll pick my favorite Pig Tale (Get it?) as the winner!  The prize is a fun little game our family LOVES called, Pig Pile!  We LOVE this game!  My friend Rhonda sent it to us one year for Christmas and it’s soooo fun!  It’s really easy to learn and anyone over about ten or eleven will love it!

March is fun!  I love green and St. Patrick’s Day and the fact that spring is upon us!  Furthermore, I love Brevan!  So watch for some “Brevan-ness” to come spilling out of my random brain, too!

Meanwhile, HAPPY NATIONAL PIG DAY!

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Swaggart’s Favorite Jerky, Etc.

Okay…remember a while back I asked you what were some details you’d like to see on Swaggart Morretti’s bio page? I LOVED some of the responses! Actually, I loved them ALL…but a couple of them were just too fun! The first one that comes to mind was Trista’s suggestion, “His favorite kind of Jerky???”

Well, believe it or not, Swaggart does a favorite brand and flavor of jerky…that being Jack Link’s Teriyaki Jerky (specifically the mega pack). Swaggart (or Swag, as we that close to him call him) prefers Jack Link’s Teriyaki because it’s tender, packed with flavor, and just plain good!

Wanna win a Mega Pack of Swaggart’s jerky?  Sure you do!  Just let me know some other fun facts about ANY of my characters that you would like to see appear on the Bio Pages and I’ll drop your name in my hat to win a package of Swaggart’s FAVORITE Jerky!  Actually, Trista G. R. (Who submitted the question), Facebook me your address and I’ll send a package to you, just because I LOVED your question!  Very random!  I LOVE randomness!

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30 Day Challenge-Day #6 (Contest Winner and New Contest, too!)

Day #6 of the 30 Day Challenge is right up my alley!  “A band/artist many people may not know of, but that you think should!” This one was actually kind of difficult as well as fun…because there are quite a few bands and/or artists I like to share with others!  However, one band/artist totally comes to mind first…The Neville Brothers and Aaron Neville!  I LOVE THE NEVILLE BROTHERS AND AARON NEVILLE!  I cannot even express myself when it comes to them…not well, anyway.  My children all grew up with Aaron Neville and The Neville Brothers and love them as much as Kevin and I do.  In 2008 we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them in concert in Denver!  Now, you need to know…that by 2008, Aaron Neville and his brothers were into their 70s!  The oldest was pushing up to 80 years of age and could still ‘jam’ like nobody’s business!

The Neville inspire me…they have song (a rendition of Bird on a Wire) to which they added these lyrics:  “Don’t cry no more…don’t cry.  It’s completed…oh, it’s finished…it’s been paid for…” These lyrics touch the very depths of my soul!  The Neville Brothers are very religious and often there will be themes of repentance, forgiveness, atonement in their songs.  LOVE them!  Now beyond their lyrics…these guys can JAM!  I know that’s an archaic word, but it fits so perfectly!  Here’s a video clip of the song Brother Jake (one of my kids’ favorites).  Keep in mind that at the time they are performing this they are well into their late 50’s and 60’s.  When we saw them perform this song in 2008 in their 70s, they were just as awesome!

Now, in truth, Kevin and I discovered Aaron Neville shortly before the Neville Brothers.  Aaron Neville performed several beautiful and popular duets with Linda Ronstadt in 1989 and we loved them!  Pretty soon thereafter, we saw a movie with Goldie Hawn and Mel Gibson (Hysterical by the way) called Bird on a Wire.  The ending credits song was Bird no a Wire by The Neville Brothers.  We loved this of course, and I ran out to buy find them in the store (in the days long long long before the convenience of on line shopping).  I couldn’t find a CD with the song on it, but I DID find a CD entitled Warm Your Heart by Aaron Neville.  Purchased it in an instant and it became a life-long family favorite!  Gorgeous CD!  Very romantic and mellow!  Oh, just sooooooooo romantic!  (In fact, there’s one track Close Your Eyes with Linda Ronstadt where Aaron abandons his famous falsetto and speaks the words “I love you!  I love you!”  AWESOME!)

Anyway, I found a couple of YouTubers for you…one is the very romantic (at least in MY opinion) 1989 video Don’t Know Much…it’s old-school MTV and the sound is really low…AND I suppose it’s a little middle-aged for you younger ‘shorties’…but I love it!  The next one is kind of weird…I think someone just put their CD on play and filmed their fish tank…but it’s actually kind of groovy and relaxing!  I will confess that probably one reason our family digs Aaron and The Neville Bothers so much is the smooth, easy, southern, New Orleans or Louisiana themes of many of their songs.  Still, I think anyone who loves a broad spectrum of music can’t help but fall in love with this music!  Furthermore, how can one suggest a band and/or artist without offering…well, an offering!  Thus, leave a comment, a Facebook message or e-mail me the reason YOU might just turn out to be a fellow Neville fan, and be entered to win this week’s blog contest…a Warm Your Heart CD and The Best of The Neville Brothers CD!

Oh, that reminds me…”Sil” you won the Dean Martin CD (which, I might add, has a different cover than the one I posted…a MUCH better cover!)  Facebook your address to me and I’ll get that in the mail for you!  Meanwhile, groove to Aaron and The Neville Brothers, ladies!  LOVE them!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 5 Comments

My Strange, Random, Fixated Brain!

I am sooooooo weird!  Seriously!  A couple of days after I posted the Conagher DVD, I had a dream that I was at the North Pole theme park in Cascade, Colorado…and that Sam Elliott was there!  I couldn’t get over to meet him because I was worried that the special stationary you could buy to write letters to Santa on would run out, so I was in line trying to get stationary and envelopes and couldn’t get over to meet Sam!  (Kevin’s interpretation is that I think Sam Elliot would make a good Santa Claus!).  Anyway…random dreams like this are a common thing with me…dreams and perplexing feelings of familiarity.  By ‘perplexing feelings of familiarity’ I mean…well…here’s an example:

Ever since I put the Jackson Browne “Somebody’s Baby” video up on my blog a few days ago, something had been bugging me…who does Jackson Browne remind me of in that video?  It was sort of driving me nuts!  I knew he reminded me of someone else and it was just sort of picking at the back of my mind.  For a couple of days it bugged me.  Then, yesterday…WHAM! it hit me!  Cillian Murphy!  THAT’S who Jackson Browne reminds me of!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!  I love it when my brain finally works!  Take a look at Jackson and Cillian side by side and see what you think:

CRAZY, huh?  Not the best photos for examples…but I think you can see why my brain was bugging me about it!  Whew!  I’m so glad THAT’S all worked out!  Aren’t you?

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 9 Comments

Winner and TOTALLY Random New Contest!

Sam, Sam, Sam! Yep! I picked a winner out of my hat for the Sam Elliott/”Con Conagher” DVD! Karen Brown! You crazy, lucky girl! E-mail or Facebook me your address and I’ll get your Sam/Conagher DVD in the mail to you! Ahhhhhhhhh! How fun!

Now…what to do for this week’s contest? Hmmm…what to do what to do? I know! Since Kissing Cousins is coming out in printed form next week, how about this…a Dean Martin CD! How funny! Yes! This CD may not have the best cover…BUT…it DOES include several songs from my Kissing Cousins tune list (i.e. That’s Amore, Sway, Innamorata and You Belong to Me)!  Corny, but fun, right?  Just so the regular thingy to enter…comment here, post on Facebook, or send me an e-mail at marcialmcclure@cs.com.

Now, I have to tell you…you cannot imagine how excited I am to see Kissing Cousins in print!  It’s a favorite of mine…especially now that the whole “shirtless” thing with Swaggart has been rectified!  Whew!

I’m working on new stuff that I LOVE!!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE these new books I’ve done and am doing!  For some reason, my brain is wildly alive right now…which is weird for the end of winter for me!  But I think the combination of Mitch being home, spring just around the corner and sunshine are just making be so happy and light-hearted that it’s manifesting in my work!  Wait until you get a load of the hero in The Trove of the Passion Room!  I can’t wait for you to read that one!

In the meantime, let’s just have a little Dean Martin CD contest this week!  It’s random, vintage and I love it!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 24 Comments

30 Day Challenge-Day #5

Day #5 of the 30 Day Challenge is TOTALLY random!  And believe me when I say…I TOTALLY went random with it!

#5-“A random song from you past!”

This was really hard for me because, when it comes to random songs from my past, the list is endless!  However, I just decided to go on YouTube and start entering old song titles.  Eventually, I came up with this one…”Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne.  It’s kind of smooth, mellow song…not a whole lot to it…but it’s very catchy.  Furthermore, whenever I hear it I feel the need to do a certain little dance move or ‘totally tubular’ groove my friend and I used to do during the chorus every time we heard it.  (Too hard to explain the little groove in words.)  I always, always liked this song, but for some reason, it always sort of made me too relaxed and almost melancholy to be a favorite favorite song.  Still, I like it!

Now, the interesting thing is…that although I had seen photos of Jackson Browne way back in 1982 when this song was popular…I’d never seen his band until today when I was watching this video (see below)!  Seriously!  They were VERY different from any other popular 80s band at the time!  They’re like…sort of middle-aged!  I couldn’t believe it!

Anyway, for my Day #5…here’s a random song from my past…popular the year I was 17…”Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne and his middle-aged band!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 7 Comments

Cast Ryder Maddox-The Winner is….

I had no idea how close this ‘casting’ race would be…therefore, I had no idea how much it would freak me out!  Josh Duhamel and Eric Dane were neck and neck the whole way!  Poor Channing Tatum just didn’t come close for the character of Ryder where voting was concerned!  (I hope he’s not too offended!  And fear not…he’s up for other roles that I think fit him better!)  The first time I tallied the votes (which were overwhelming in number, I might add) Josh and Eric were literally dead even!  I couldn’t believe it!  I had to show Kevin because I couldn’t believe it!  But now that there’s a winner…I’m totally stressed!  I know one ‘team’ will be disappointed!  Don’t get mad at me, okay…because this is all in fun!  AND we are only pretending to cast the movie!  I know that in truth no actor can fill Ryder’s boots for any of us!  So let’s just keep pretending and whichever ‘team’ doesn’t win…know that your guy WILL be cast in a Marcia Lynn McClure hero position at some point…of that there is no doubt!

So, at the risk of provoking hate mail, a flogging or something else…here’s the result of the “Ryder Maddox” voting contest… (don’t get mad, okay?)…the winner…and I mean only by a nose (it was seriously so close I can’t even tell you!)…is Josh Duhamel!

For those of you who voted for Eric Dane (and don’t worry…he’s up for a TON of hero parts) and are disappointed, let’s highlight Josh’s good characteristics:  Tall, handsome, fabulous smile, able to portray a great sense of humor and wit, great voice, charming…okay?

I’ll put Josh’s photos on Ryder Maddox’s bio page (as the actor who won the casting contest), and then what do you say we all take a breath and break before we vote on someone else!  It’s emotionally taxing!  Casting is such a hard job!  Who knew?

Thank you so much to everyone who voted!  It was such a blast, wasn’t it?  I enjoyed watching the votes roll in via blog comments, Facebook and e-mails…LOVED the extra comments of ‘why’ a vote was cast!  I hope this was fun for you…even if your guy of choice didn’t win!  I had a ball!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted in Marcia's Blog | 16 Comments

Vote for Ryder Maddox!!!!

Yep!  This week we’re voting on who will represent Ryder Maddox on Ryder’s page in my Character Bios section!  I’ve chosen my top three favorite submissions for Ryder Maddox and three photos of each guy being considered for Ryder appear below!  You can only choose one guy to be Ryder in the Character Bios section, so take your time before voting!

My daughter had a great suggestion…just pretend like you’re the person casting the part of Ryder Maddox for the movie version of Dusty Britches!  Once you’ve decided who you would ‘cast’ as Ryder, leave a comment here, e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com with a Subject Line: Ryder!, or send me a Facebook message or wall post with the name of who you’ve chosen to for Ryder!  Fun, huh!?

Check out my three favorite candidates below and then send you vote to me!  I’m so nervous!  Who will it be?  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

So here are my top three picks for Ryder using your submissions (in absolutely no particular order):

Josh Duhamel as Ryder Maddox…

Channing Tatum as Ryder Maddox…

Eric Dane as Ryder Maddox…


Posted in Marcia's Blog | 183 Comments