Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!





A friend sent me the most beautiful Christmas e-card I believe I've ever seen. CLICK HERE to see it.

Now playing on my iPod: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Bing Crosby

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Times, they are a-changing...


If you've read my blog this year (or talked to me in person), you'll remember lots of references to being sick and feeling exhausted all the time. Bleck.

Most of my life, I've had "unusual" illnesses. I go to the doctor, they run a mountain of tests, and then they tell me they can't find anything wrong. Sorry.

So I go home thinking I'm a total hypochondriac wimp. Not a good thing to think about yourself.

But yesterday? I went back for a second visit at a new clinic. And things were different. VERY different.

As Trina reviewed my test results, she is saying things like, "This score tells me that your adrenals quit working around noon. I'm guessing somewhere in the mid-afternoon, you're feeling pretty exhausted, and once you sit down, you're done for the day."

Uhm, yes.

Then she says, "And this score tells me that your adrenal function, instead of decreasing at night, it flattens out and stays steady. I bet you have trouble getting to sleep."

Uhm, uh-huh.

Then she says, "These three scores tell me that you're having attention issues—like getting easily distracted and having trouble remembering things."

Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! I think we have a winner!

There were several other issues, but you get the picture.

For the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, here was a medical person telling me that my tests accurately indicated what I was experiencing! I just about cried right there in the office.

The solution? Not drugs. (Yay!) Vitamins, minerals, natural supplements. She also gave me what they call a Meyer's Cocktail—an IV mix of B vitamins, C, magnesium and some other stuff. This morning, I already feel much, much better!


Now playing on my iPod: Changes by David Bowie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Momma taught him well

Grandma: *cough * cough * hack * snort

Baby Shrek: Bless you, Grandma.

Grandma: Thank you, Baby Shrek.

Moment of silence.

Baby Shrek: *fake cough* Grandma say, 'bless you, Baby Shrek.'

Monday, December 14, 2009

I have super powers


I usually get two bad colds a year—one when winter starts and one in the spring. The first one is right on schedule—its schedule, of course. Not mine.

No, I would have put it off until January.

But those nasty germs took advantage of my inattention—what with being involved with DH's back surgery (he's doing great, btw) and partying with my parents and sisters (one sis flew out from KY as a SURPRISE for my birthday).

Those germs jumped me when I was looking the other direction. No fair at all!

I'm feeling a bit better now. I drug myself over to Walgreen's this morning for some sugar free cough syrup (important fact: expired cough syrup doesn't really work very well) and now that the cough is mostly tamed, I'm bored out of my mind.

But being sick is not all bad. I've learned all sorts of useful facts due to my observational super powers, which I will now share with you. (The observations, not the super powers. Those are all mine!)
  • Spike TV (which runs episodes of CSI) and A&E (which runs CSI: Miami) show five episodes in a row. And then they immediately repeat those same five episodes. In case you missed something.

  • The longer it's been since you've washed your hair, the more times you have to lather, rinse and repeat.

  • If your fever is really high, Dog the Bounty Hunter seems like high literary entertainment.

  • After 8 straight hours of Nintendo DS, smoke starts to come out the two little holes in the back. (But I made it to level 61 in the I Spy Fun House gumball game.)

  • It's amazing how little laundry has to be done when you wear the same pair of pajamas four days in a row.

  • Despite popular belief, you cannot cough up a lung. Your coughing can, however, wake your DH who is sleeping in the extreme opposite end of the house.

  • It is really hard to play Super Collapse 3 when you're coughing. (It's also very hard to sleep.)

  • eHarmony is not a dating site, it's a relationship site.

  • Fa-la-la-la Lifetime is currently showing non-stop Christmas shows.

  • If someone asks you to do something you don't really want to do, say, "Hold on a minute..." and then launch into a coughing spasm. They will immediately retract their request, and leave. Works every single time.
I'd post more of these cool facts, but I'm saving some for titillating New Year's Eve party conversation.

Now playing on my iPod: Well, nothing. Because it's across the room and I'm too tired to get up. But I found this funny video about the Swine Flu (which I don't have, btw. It's just a cold.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Birthday Bash Winners!

And the winners from my week long Birthday Bash are:


Melanie Goldmund
wins a copy of "I Hope You Dance"



Kandis
wins a Twilight-inspired fragrance



Cindy Beck
Connie Hall
Jeri

win copies of Stolen Christmas



Annette
Bethany
Sandra
Tristi

win a copy of the book of their choice from this list




Mia
wins Magnets (let me know what you want)




Nichole
wins a blog design (let me know what you want)



Thank you to everyone who stopped by to play!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Birthday Bash: I Like to Make the Pretty (Part 3)

Something I've learned about myself this week—I really like the pretty. I like things to look nice. I guess that means I'm a very visual person.

Since I discovered blogging (which I love), I've also discovered blog design (which I want to do more of).

Here are just a few blog designs I've created. You can see them in real time by clicking on the image.


This is one of my favorites.
I made it for my sister for her birthday.



Another fav—when I was feeling patriotic.



Another fun one.



CSO—Twilight theme.



Twilight theme #2





Today's Prize: A blog design.
You may select one of the above or ask for a custom theme.
Must use Blogger.
Design includes background, header and installation.


To enter to win, leave a comment any time before midnight on Sunday, December 6, 2009, telling me some of your favorite blogsones you like to read and ones you think are pretty.

For extra chances to win, help spread the word. . .

Winners for all the Birthday Bash prizes will be announced on Monday.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Birthday Bash: I Like to Make the Pretty (Part 2)

I'm not your traditional craftsy person. As a general rule, I don't like to do crafts unless they're part of a business venture, but I love to scrapbook and every so often, I get into a craft and will do it until I get tired of it, then never do it again. I just like the prettiness of it all.


I used to tole paint. I painted cookie jar lids and holiday necklaces and Christmas decor and wall decor and a bunch of other stuff that I can't find images of because tole painting is now passé. But I loved it when it was cool.


One year, I crocheted over 100 beanie/caps (don't know what those things are called). I gave a few of them out as Christmas gifts and donated the rest to women's shelters and humanitarian services. Haven't crocheted since.

(Yes, that photo is of actual hats made by me.)


Then I did the whole jewelry/bracelet making thing. That got old fast because it required a significant financial investment, it was time consuming, and I had trouble seeing what I was doing. (Although, now that I have a magnifying light [thanks, Suan!], I might try it again.)



My current craft craze is refrigerator magnets. (That's what my family is getting for Christmas this year. Shh, don't tell.)

Here are a few that I've made:



Today's Prize: A set of 4 refrigerator magnets. You may choose a Christmas set or a floral set (as pictured above) OR I'll customize a set just for you.

To enter to win: Leave a comment any time before midnight on Saturday, December 5, 2009, telling me what your craftsy-type hobbies are.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Birthday Bash: I Like to Make the Pretty (Part 1)

I started editing professionally in the early 1980s—I've edited fiction, non-fiction, middle grade to adult. I love making someone's words sparkle.

I learned to typeset in the 1990s. I love taking a printed page and making it visually appealing.

In 2000, I became a publisher. This is where I really got to make the pretty with words. I love to take someone's story and polish and shine until it's a work of art.


Today's Prizes: Copies of some of the books I'm most proud to have had a hand in creating:


Sorry, the Stork Takes No Returns by Claire Bowen
Illustrations by Gaynell Parker

From adventures with Scouting and Girls Camp, to self–service tooth fairies, to reflections on becoming a grandmother, Claire’s unique sense of humor will leave you laughing. And whatever else this book does, it makes you feel better about raising your own kids.

It’s humor with a literary sense and humor with common sense. It’s humor with teenagers! What more could you ask? You’re likely to recognize your own family, because you know they’re nuts, too; and you’re sure to be comforted, because they’re not as nutty as some we could name. You’ll come away feeling you’ve made new, albeit somewhat unstable, friends.




Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers by C.S. Bezas

Whether you have been called to work with youth, or are a parent, teaching teens can be a most exhilarating, yet demanding commitment. This book is a crucial guide to working with today's dynamic youth. Compelling, yet simple, these tips will help you burst beyond fatigue and frustration, launching you toward powerful moments with today's young men and women.








A Voice from the Fire by Colleen C. Harrison

Colleen Harrison grew up believing in God. She found Him in the loneliness of a neglected childhood, felt His comfort and protection during the violent outbursts of her parents' relationship, and experienced His strength, hope and healing amidst some of life's hardest trials—childhood abuse, struggling with the effects of addiction in herself and those she loved, the death of her 18–year–old daughter, and the dissolution of what she believed was an eternal marriage. Through it all, Colleen finds and shares with us one overarching truth: the gospel of Jesus Christ works.






He Did Deliver Me From Bondage by Colleen C. Harrison

The foremost book on recovery from addiction written to an LDS audience. There are more than 100,000 copies in print. He Did Deliver Me is the main text for Heart t' Heart support groups and was used as the sole text for the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) groups for 10 years. It is excellent for those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors, loved ones who are affected by the addictive behaviors of others, and concerned Church leaders and professionals who which to help.

(This book helped me lose over 150 lbs.)





Clean Hands, Pure Heart by Philip A. Harrison

Using the groundwork laid in He Did Deliver Me From Bondage to address the widespread challenge of addiction to pornography. Drawing on scriptures, quotes from Church leaders, 12 Step literature and personal experience, Phil paints a picture of hope for those who struggle with this devastating problem and those who love them.







To enter to win, leave a comment any time before midnight on Saturday, December 5, 2009, telling me something you do to "make the pretty."

(Also tell me which book you'd like to win.)


For extra chances to win, help spread the word. . .


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Birthday Bash: Book-a-Palooza


I love books! I've read books every day of my life for 47 of my 50 years.

I love books. I have books in every room of my house except the bathrooms (and that's only because I don't want them to get wet).

I recently parted with over 600 books—and it was hard. Because I love books.

(Sharing is caring, Karlene, sharing is caring!)

(Breathe.)

Hard as it was, I'm going to part with a few more books for today's prizes (and yes, that was plural). But parting with these books will be easy because I'll know they're going to a good home.

(Right?)

(RIGHT???)

Also because I bought these books with the intention of giving them away, so no pain.

I love books. (Did I say that already?) And I read a LOT. (I might have said that already too.) Here's a very short list of some favorite books/series that I've read this year. (You might see a pattern. I love YA and fantasy, but especially YA fantasy.)

(This is not my all-time fav list because that list changes from day to day, depending on what I've just read.)

(And I'm not numbering them in order because that is impossible to do.)


Favorite Books I've Read This Year:



Books that Will Be On the Fav List but Haven't Read Yet (but I know I will love them because I love the author/series):



Today's Prizes: Books, of course! I'm giving away three copies of Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season to three very lucky winners!

This is a wonderful collection of short Christmas stories
by 17 award-winning LDS authors.

It has stories from my good friends Sandra Sorenson, Tristi Pinkston and Lori Nawyn.

And a story by Sarah M. Eden who made my fav list above.

(Click the image to read more about it.)

And if you look on the copyright page, you'll notice that it says in teeny tiny font that the book was typeset by Professional Pre-Press. That's me. It's one of the umpteen businesses I am currently running.


To enter to win, leave a comment any time before midnight on Saturday, December 5, 2009, telling me some of the best books you've read THIS YEAR.

For extra chances to win, help spread the word. . .

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Birthday Bash: The Sweet Smell of a New Idea

I know I'm late posting this but really, I have a good excuse:
  1. I had to mix and ship a bunch of CustomScentsOnline.com orders.

  2. I had to go shopping for the family Christmas party on Sunday.

  3. I had to get stuff ready ahead of time because DH is having his back surgery on Thursday.

  4. I'm old and it takes me longer to do stuff.


Speaking of CustomScentsOnline.com. . .

One of my favorite things to do is to start new businesses. I had my first idea for a product in high school. I hated applying suntan lotion because I don't like to get my hands all goopey and sticky. I designed a lotion/oil applicator (patent-pending) that I thought would work wonderfully. I still think it's a good idea but it never got off the paper.

That idea was quickly followed by the ever-popular Ear Mitts (patent-pending), which I designed my first year in college. The concept—keep you ears warm in cold weather without messing up your hair. I made several sets and used them all winter. My ears were toasty warm and I never had hat hair, but for some reason it didn't catch on like I thought it would.

Since then, I've always had an idea or ten floating around in my brain at any given time. I've done so many different business ventures over my lifetime—and while they've not all been successful, they've all been an absolute blast! I love coming up with new ideas, new products, thinking up marketing and promo plans. It's fun.

It's so much fun, in fact, that when I can't sleep, I write business plans. I have a whole file drawer full of them.

Seriously.

One of my fav entrepreneurial things to do is find a trend and create a product for it. Ergo, my ultra fascination with all things Twilight—and the birth of CustomScentsOnline.com.

CSO is sponsoring the prize for my Birthday Bash today.


Today's Prize:
Your choice of either a
1 Dram Sampler bottle

of your favorite
Twilight-inspired fragrance


OR

a Twilight 10 Sampler Pack
with your choice of 10
of the Twilight-inspired fragrances

(approx. 1-2 applications per sampler vial)


To enter to win:
  • Go to CustomScentsOnline and read about the 21 different Twilight-inspired fragrances.

  • Come back here and leave a comment any time before midnight on Saturday, December 5, 2009, telling me which Twilight-inspired fragrance sounds yummiest to you and why.

  • For additional entries help spread the word about my Birthday Bash via your blog, Twitter, Facebook or other social network, or e-mail. Leave a comment telling me what you did. (1 extra entry per action).

Now playing on my iPod: New Moon (The Meadow) by Alexandre Desplat
(Beautiful piano piece)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Birthday Bash: What I Know for Sure

I've been on this planet for 50 years now. Depressing, yes. Now, let's move on.

Fifty years. That's a long time to live and learn, to experience and grow.

What do I have to show for it? What have I learned?

Now that's a topic for a blog post! I could fill an entire book—an entire BOOK SHELF!—with that. But it's amazing how after 50 years, there are only a few things that have really stuck with me, that I can say I know for sure.

Here are some of the things I know for sure:

  • There is a God in heaven, and He loves me.
    I used to be afraid of God; I felt like He was waiting for me to mess up so He could zap me with some punishment. But over the years, I've learned that He is the kindest, most generous being that I could ever imagine. I am overwhelmed with the blessings He has sent my way and the comfort He always gives. God is absolutely involved in my life. I talk to Him every day and He talks back. That is the most prized blessing of all.

  • Family comes first—always.
    I have a daughter who calls me and her first words are almost always, "Whatcha' doing?" And my answer is always, "Nothing." One time she commented that I'm always doing nothing. Well, honestly, I'm always doing something, but "nothing" is shorthand for "nothing that is more important than you and what you need right now." I love spending time with these people that God has put in my life—DH, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, all the way out to extended aunts, uncles, and 7th cousins, 42 times removed. I would rather spend time with my family than anyone else in the world.

  • Friends can be like family.
    I have some dear, dear friends that are as close as sisters to me. When I draw my family tree, they are right there, tied to my heart just as securely as those who are tied to me by blood and bone.

  • Honesty is the best policy.
    Honesty and integrity are the two character traits I value most. I work very hard to be an honest person. I expect honesty from the people around me. Everything else can be worked out.

  • Nice matters.
    I have this on a plaque on my office wall. It's been there for years. It reminds me to consider things from the other person's point of view. To think about how they might feel about what I'm about to say or do. I've learned that I can be honest and nice at the same time.

  • Dancing is important.
    There are plenty of things in life that will take you down—health, finances, disasters, relationships. But in among all the hardships are these gleaming nuggets of joy and laughter. Seek them out. Relish them. Cherish them. I love the quote attributed to Vivian Greene:

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."


    I believe that.

Wow! This post took a turn for the different. I thought I was going to blog about books today. Oh well.

Today's Prize (and currently playing on my iPod):
A legal copy of I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack from iTunes.




To enter to win, leave a comment any time before midnight on Saturday, December 5, 2009, telling me something that you know for sure.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

They Say It's My Birthday. . .

(I still don't believe it, but whatever.)

The best thing about birthdays?

The PARTY!

I was planning to do my birthday bash leading up to today but due to technical difficulties (which are now totally resolved), I'm having my birthday bash this week instead.

Yay!

Every day this week, I'll be giving away a prize that reflects something I love.

Here's how to win prizes:
  1. Do something to help spread the word about my Birthday Bash Contest—blog, tweet, facebook. Leave a comment telling me what you did. (1 entry)

  2. Sign up to follow my blog. (1 entry)

  3. Follow me on Twitter. (1 entry)

  4. Each day will have something specific for you to comment on or do. Post your comment. (1 entry per post; no silly spamming comments—it has to be a real response to the post)

  5. You'll be entered in the drawing for that day's prize.

  6. You have through midnight Saturday, December 5, 2009 to post comments.

  7. Monday, December 7th, I will randomly select the winners and post them here on the blog.

See you back here tomorrow for the start of my Birthday Bash!


Now playing on my iPod: Happy Birthday by The Beatles

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How Pumpkin Pies Are Made (Sorry, Mom)


Wish I knew who to give credit for this photo, but it was e-mailed to me by a twisted friend.

Happy Thanksgiving!


(Yes, I know this is immature, but see, I'm STILL NOT 50!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday Bash on Temporary Hold...

I was supposed to start my Birthday Bash countdown today--a full week of prizes and giveaways and fun and frolic.

But MY COMPUTER BROKE--AGAIN!

I'm forced to work on my PC and I just can't be creative on my PC. I can't make fun pictures. I don't even know how to make an em dash on a PC. And my fingernails slide all over the keys and make me make typos.

Taking my Mac in as soon as I end this post. Hopefully it's the power cord. (The machine is getting old and that cord has traveled the country. It doesn't just sit modestly on my desk.)



So...Birthday Bash coming soon.

[No cracks about Mac vs PCs or you won't win any prizes in my Birthday Bash! Seriously, despite all the complaining I do here about my Mac not working, it sure works better than most PCs I've ever had.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon--A Movie Review

Yesterday, my peeps and I went to see New Moon. I had my camera with me the whole time, but I forgot to take pictures, so I drew my own.

Me, Kenna, Tristi, Chris.


Tristi, Chris, Kenna and I carpooled up to Johanna's Kitchen, where we met my sister, Suan, for brunch.

Suan



Suan turned brunch into an early birthday party for me--complete with table decor and balloons and . . .
Suan, Balloons, Me



. . . a sugar-free chocolate cake that said, "Older Than Dirt".
Cake (it was yummy!)



She also made me wear a necklace that said I was OLD. And she gave me a black tote filled with pencils, note pads, a Twilight bracelet, a pig that sings Christmas songs, and sugar-free marshmallow Santas.

Me--wearing necklace and holding tote bag.


She also brought New Moon treats for everyone else. I brought New Moon Sweethearts to share.

After lunch, we moseyed over to the theater. We didn't have to rush because we had assigned seats.

I brought some of my CustomScentsOnline "Smell Me" cards. Chris passed them out for me at the theater.
Chris passing out cards.


I have some left. They have a code for a 20% discount on any order over $10. You can use the code if you want. It's MovieFan. The code expires November 30th.

Then we watched the movie.


SPOILER ALERT!
Actual scenes from the movie posted below...



"Oh, I'm so in love with Edward . . ."
Bella and Edward in love.



"But he's leaving me because he thinks he's a monster."
Bella and Edward breaking up.



"Oh. no! I'm too sad so I'm going to use my best friend, Jacob the sexy young Indian brave Native American, as a crutch, even though I know he's in love with me but I still love Edward."
Bella leading Jacob on.



"Oh, no! My best friend is a wolf."
Jacob--the werewolf.



"Oh, no! I'm still so sad and Jacob isn't paying enough attention to me. So I'm going to go jump off a cliff."
Bella--jumping off a cliff. Her BFF, Victoria, cheering her on.



"Oh, no! My ex-boyfriend is going to kill himself! I have to save him."
Edward doing a strip-tease in Italy.



"Oh, no! The bad guy wants to eat me!"
Aro saying, "I want to eat her."



"Oh, yay! Aro can't read my mind so we're free! Edward and I are so in love again..."
Bella and Edward in love.



The End.


Oh, and yes. I liked it.