Friday, September 30, 2011

This Day in History October 1, 1971

Isn't it nice to have something good that happened today in history?  On this day in history, Walt Disney World Resort officially opened!  In fact, if you go here to their blog, you can find out more Disney events that  happened on this day.

I graduated from college in Lakeland, Florida which is right in between Tampa and Orlando, so I have experienced Disney World and Disneyland both.  I prefer Magic Kingdom in Disneyland, but you can't beat all the other things that that Disney World offers in Florida.

Shortly after Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney realized he had made a mistake.  He had only bought as much property as he needed--no room to expand.  As early as 1959, they began scouting for other areas to open another Disney park.  Sleepy central Florida (sounds funny now) was the place that was chosen.  There was a lot of open space and cattle lands.  So that word would not leak out, he gradually bought up the area under various dummy names. Eventually, they owned 43 acres for a price of about a million.  "The Florida Project" was announced in 1965, and the price of land skyrocketed.

Walt Disney died of cancer in 1966, and his brother, Roy, continued the project. Phase 1 of the Florida Project (Magic Kingdom, 2 hotels, golf courses, a shopping village, and a monorail for transportation) opened on this day in 1971.  

If you would like to learn more, check out this site:
http://disneyworld.orlandovacation.com/articles/history-of-walt-disney-world.php

Free-Wheeling Friday--Ipad 2 Winner! And a Thanks to all of You!

Well, a winner has finally been selected for the big Ipad 2 giveaway.  I don't usually do a "winner" post because I  don't usually like to read them, but this is a little different.  After duplicate entries were deleted, there were more than 113,000 entries!

The winner of the iPad 2 is: Sherree Shaw Chmitlin!


I want to thank all of you for making this a success.  Whether you entered or not, the fact that you are reading this means more than you might realize.  I realize that you may have liked my facebook page just to enter the giveaway, and maybe you are only following me for the same reasons.  It may be very tempting for you to now "unlike" me or "unfollow" me.  Let me encourage you not to do that.  I am up over 1000 followers now, and my facebook page fans added 1000 likes to it!  The more followers I have, the better chances I have of getting good giveaways.

I understand about following blogs to entering giveaways.  You are talking to the lady that probably follows 3000 blogs, and no, I do not read them all.  I look for giveaways, but I also look for information.  And I know that every time I join with a blogger, I am helping that fellow blogger.

Enough of all that.  Keep looking out for more giveaways.  They will be coming.  And I have some that I am entering now.  Don't miss them!

Coupons Gone Crazy (Guest Post)


We’ve all seen those shows on TV.  Those shows where a crazy coupon lady is shown clipping and snipping away at her newspaper, mulling in her basement over a stockpile of merchandise that looks nothing short of preparation for a nuclear war, and then leaving the grocery store with 18 shopping carts along with a bill comprised of $1,000 worth of items all for $7.32. 
After watching these somewhat insane cases of couponing, not only are the savings incurred shocking, but so is the time and dedication it takes to reach such deals.  If you’re someone who is playing a juggling act with church, school, home, jobs, etc.,  it might be hard to find the time (not to mention the space!), but also know that a bit of clipping and planning can benefit your family and your wallet.
With these tips used by the most experienced coupon-ers out there, you don’t have to become a crazy coupon lady…just a savvier shopper who is on a pursuit of unbelievable savings upwards of 90%!

Find the Coupons 

·        Newspapers.  The best place to find your coupons is the newspaper.  So after church on Sunday grab a cup of coffee, a pair of scissors, and start clipping away!  With Sunday papers costing around $1.00--$1.50, they are a good investment being that they can sometimes hold hundreds of dollars’ worth of savings.  And don’t just settle for one.  Get aggressive and subscribe to several—that is if they have quality ads and aren’t too expensive.

·        Online.  Many websites offer coupons or codes that you can print off and use in stores.  Sign up online to receive emails with coupons and other money-saving deals.

·        Direct from the manufacturers.  You can call up your favorite stores and ask them to send you coupons.  Simply tell them that you are a customer who loves their products and they should be happy to mail some coupons your way! 

·        Ask around.  Ask friends or coworkers for any extra papers with coupons in them that they aren’t using.  Also, check with local businesses to see if they have any left-over Sunday newspapers that they are throwing away—no savvy coupon-er would ever let a Sunday paper chalk-full of sweet deals go to waste!
Get Organized 
So you just spent an entire afternoon clipping hundreds of coupons and fell victim to 3 excruciatingly painful paper cuts…now what do you do?  Well, get yourself organized of course!  A good way to do this is to fill a binder with sheet protectors or baseball card holders and use page dividers to separate coupons either by category or expiration date. 

Know the Store Policies
You are ready to set out on your shopping trip, and with the promise of saving some major cash, you are more excited to hit the aisles than ever before.  But wait!  Before you go, have you looked over the store’s coupon policy?  Most stores post their policies online, so be sure to get a hard copy to take with you in case there should be a disagreement regarding the company’s rules on coupon use.

Know the Checkout Etiquette
It’s 6:00 on Monday night, it’s been a long day at work, and you’ve dropped by your neighborhood grocer to pick up a few things to throw together for dinner before your family gets home.  It seems as though everyone else in town had the same idea as you and each checkout line is stretched halfway down the store’s aisles.   Just when you think you’re almost to the finish line, the woman with 2 baskets filled to the brim in front of you hands the cashier a stack of coupons, making your “quick” trip to the grocery store that much longer.  Let the lady in front of you be an example of what not do to.  If you have a massive shopping trip planned that will require tricky transactions with, then remember the following checkout etiquette:
·        Don’t plan your coupon adventure during peak shopping hours. 
·        Find cashiers that don’t mind the drill and try to check out with them each time you shop.  If you truly have some confusing coupon combinations, it can frazzle the store employee so it is important to remain as polite, friendly and respectful as possible. 
·        Be courteous and let other customers who may get in line behind you know that you have a big check-out and they may want to switch lines.


Amy Young is an author who writes about issues covering consumer topics and is the owner of the site First Credit Card Resource

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Day in History September 30, 1955

Anyone recognize this person?  I know my mom would.  She was a big fan of James Dean.  And some of you may have been as well.  What you may not realize is that on this date in 1955, James Dean tragically died.  But before we get to that, let's examine his life.

James Dean was born on February 8, 1931, in Marion, Indiana.  When he was five, the family moved to L.A.  After his mom passed away, James Dean moved back to the Midwest to live with his aunt and uncle on their farm.  He graduated from high school and moved back to California.  He went to Santa Monica Junior College and UCLA.  He took an acting workshop and appeared in some films and stage works.

In 1951, he decided it was time to pursue a serious career in acting.  Taking some advice from his acting workshop teacher, he moved to New York.  He earned his living as a busboy in the theatres.  He did appear in a few television shows, but he finally landed a small part in a Broadway show called See the Jaguar.


By 1952, he informed his family that he had worked  hard in his acting career and finally became a member of the prestigious Actor's Studio.  Very select few ever get into this school of theatre, and he was one of the youngest.  He was confident that if he continued as he was, he would truly bring something of significance to the world.

He appeared in a few television dramas, and then he went back to New York in 1954 to appear in The Immortalist.  It was this appearance that finally landed him a screen test with Warner  Brothers.  He was cast as Cal Trask in the film adaptation of East of Eden.  He did a few move television shows, and then his epic role of  Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause came along in 1955.

In February of 1955, he returned to California and celebrated his Eden success by buying his first Porsche. He entered his first race--Palm Springs Road Races.  He began shooting Rebel the same month that Eden opened.  In between, he entered another race.  He did enter one more race before he joined the cast of Giant (which would be his final film).

His career was extremely brief--one year and three films--but he became instantly popular with America's youth.  He was nominated for two Academy Awards.  Tragically, he was killed in a car accident on the way to another race on this date in 1955.

This quote best sums up his career:  (from Little Boy Lost by Joe Hymas)

"..There is no simple explanation for why he has come to mean so much to so many people today. Perhaps it is because, in his acting, he had the intuitive talent for expressing the hopes and fears that are a part of all young people... In some movie magic way, he managed to dramatize brilliantly the questions every young person in every generation must resolve."


For more information, check out his official site.


Over Undies Review and Giveaway (Ends 10/28) U.S.

A short time ago, I was privileged to win a pair of over undies from a blog giveaway.  You may be wondering what over undies are.  I had never heard of them either.  They are special shorts that go under a girl's dress so that when she is playing or being otherwise unladylike, her underwear do not show through.  All you see are a really cute pair of form-fitting shorts.   I ordered the following pair for my daughter:

As I begin to review this product, I need to first tell you about my daughter.  She is a tomboy to the core.  She normally wears jeans and t-shirts or sweatshirts.  It is often very tough to get her to wear a dress.  I ordered these over undies on faith.  I thought that surely she would get the chance to wear them.

So she got to wear them first to church.  She loved the color and the cute design on the bottom.  Oh, and the little pocket.  In fact, the pocket is what first caught her eye.  But she didn't wear her dress the whole day.  So although they worked well, I wasn't sure how well they would work under normal circumstances.

I helped her dress for her first day of school, and to my great surprise, she picked out a skirt.  I thought the skirt was actually skorts, but I soon discovered it was just a skirt.  I began to search everywhere for her over undies.  I knew they fit perfectly under her skirt.  As soon as I found them, she was so excited!  She didn't have to worry about her underwear showing through that first day of school.  She could be a tomboy, and yet she looked cute like a girl.  

After she wore them this time, I knew I wanted to review them on my blog.  What I liked is that the over undies were comfortable, well-made, and cute!  They let my daughter be the tomboy she is and still look like a girl.  I have never known another product to do this for my daughter.  My only complaint is that the sizes only go up through 10/12.  My daughter will be out of these either by or before the end of the school year.  I would love the see the company expand to include bigger sizes.  In fact, I would actually order something like this for myself, and I mean it.  I wear dresses a lot to work, and there are times that I worry about a gust of wind or bending over.  If I had something like this, I wouldn't worry so much.  

Here is the great part of this post.  The company has agreed to do a giveaway on my blog!  Yes, you heard right!  One of my U.S. readers will receive one pair of over undies--your choice!  All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter form and comment on this post as it directs you to.  This giveaway will end October 28 at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.  So what are you waiting for?  Get busy entering!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This Day in History September 29, 2004

This is an artist's rendition of what passed close to the earth but a few years ago--this date in 2004.   It is a picture of 4179 Toutatis.  And of course, now everything is as clear as mud, right? Everyone remembers this momentous occasion after all, right?  Right??

Okay, I have never heard of this asteroid before today.  So read on and you just might learn something--just like I did!  This asteroid is the size of a mountain (1.2 miles x 1.4 miles x 2.9 miles).   It is named after the little known Celtic and Gallic god.  This unusually-shaped "yam" asteroid does not act like the majority of asteroids.  It tumbles instead of spinning around an axis.  It was first discovered in 1989 (though it was noticed first back in 1934).

When it passed earth just a few years ago, it was traveling 24,550 miles per hour.  It closeness when it passed by earth is measured in lunar distance.  That is the distance from the earth to the moon.  It was 4 lunar distances away from us when it passed by.  While that does not seem close, astronomically it gives rise to concern.  There is growing concern that it will eventually collide with the earth.  The next time it will come close to the earth is 2562.  So I think it safe to say that if it does crash into the earth, no one alive today will be alive then.


If you want to play around with a computerized video of the asteroid, click here:
http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=4179%20Toutatis;orb=1

If you would like some more information, check out these sites:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/watchtheskies/toutatis-092804.html
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/4179_Toutatis

As exciting as this is, however, it is even more exciting that this is my mother's 68th birthday! This means more to me than an asteroid.  I'm not sure what my daughter would say, however.  She does love space!

Beginning Rhythm E-Product Review and Giveaway (ends 10/8) WW (Closed)


As a former music teacher (and sometimes a music substitute), I am always on the hunt for innovative ways to teach music in the classroom and in the home.  I was so excited to be chosen to review this beginning rhythm e-product.  I have always been a big proponent of games in the music classroom, and I can remember the days I had to sit down and create all these manipulatives for the games by hand.  And I can remember that sometimes the music symbols did not look all that great.  The students would comment that what they saw in the book did not look the same as my hand-drawn symbols.  I tried to explain to them that I couldn't always draw the symbols as same as the book.  The books used machines and computers to create the symbols so they looked better than my hand-drawn symbols.  I got so tired of telling the students that!  And I got so tired of drawing the symbols on 4 x 6 index cards that often got lost and ruined.  And then I would have to draw them again!

Oh, I wish I had had these when I was teaching, but I certainly will when I teach again!  I can remember not playing rhythm bingo because I didn't want to make that many cards for the students.  And of course, here they are all made up!  I can remember having to make all sorts of duplicates for various games.  The quality of these cards are fantastic, and if I ever lose the printables, my computer will always have a backup!  I wish I were teaching music right now so I could get in and use them, but I know my daughter will love these.  In fact, I need to recommend them to the music teachers I know.  They are worth any expense--they are so simple and easy to use.



I am so pleased to be able to tell you that two of my readers are going to win their very own e-copy of these beginning rhythm manipulatives!  And since it is an e-copy, it is open worldwide!  All you need to do is enter using the rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway will end October 8 at 9:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Day in History September 28, 1968

Okay, I am not a big Beatles fan.  I like some of their earlier stuff, and I don't mind listening to them now and then.  But I am not really a fan.  I did decide that I would discuss them today in light of this day in history.  Ever heard their song Hey Jude?  Well, it was on this day in 1968 that Hey Jude went to number one in the U.S., and it stayed there for 9 weeks.

The history of this song is rather intriguing. It was in the year 1968 that John and Cynthia Lennon separated due to infidelity on John's part.  Paul McCartney drove out to visit Cynthia and John's son Julian out of true concern for their welfare.  Originally the song was called Hey Jules, and McCartney wrote it to try to cheer up Julian.  It was later changed to Hey Jude since it sounded better.  It is strange--many other people, including John Lennon--thought McCartney wrote the song for them.  I really don't think so, but I guess the controversy continues to keep the song alive.

As I read about the actual recording of the song, I discovered there is a lot to be told.  There is everything from alleged profanity (read the link at the bottom of the post with caution--there is a rude word) to large orchestra issues to Ringo almost missing the drum part of his recording.  I had know idea there was so much drama!

What strikes me about this song is that it goes on forever!!!  I don't mind the song, but when they get the endless parts at the end!  The song is seven minutes and eleven seconds long, and it is considered one of the few songs that long or longer that topped the charts and remained there.

There is much more to be written on this song, but if you are interested, check out the link.  (Note:  I do not generally use Wikipedia as a source unless it is well-documented like this article.  I also have found that Wikipedia is very accurate when it comes to modern music.  I don't know why, but for some reason people tend to get it right.)

Well-Spoken Wednesday--Department of Temporal Adjustment by Veronica R. Tabares Review

Department of Temporal AdjustmentDepartment of Temporal Adjustment by Veronica R. Tabares
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a book that I won from a blog, and I promptly filed away.  I pulled it out a couple weeks ago, and I was pretty sure I might not like it.  Until I read the back of the book.  The story line actually sounded kind of interesting.  Although time travel books are not my normal genre, I thought I would give it a try.  It was also printed in Seattle, and I do enjoy reading books set in the Puget Sound area.


As I began writing, I was somewhat drawn in.  The story was mildly interesting, and the writing was mostly well done.  Not my normal author style, but having it told fist person was certainly the best thing the author could have done.  It made you realize that the narrator was not crazy as might have been suspected.


While time travel was a focus of the storyline, it was unlike any other time travel book.  It was not time travel "ala" H.G. Wells nor The Time Traveler's Wife (which I could never get into).  The future seemed nice, and it was halfway believable.


The thing I liked most about the book had nothing whatsoever to do with content.  I appreciated the fact that there was no profanity and not a single sex scene! That moved this book way up on the scale of my esteem, and it even kept me reading it.


I struggled most with how to rate this book.  I don't think I laughed once during the book.  There was humor, but it was pretty old hat. I didn't really make much of a connection with the characters.  But the fact remains that it had excellent descriptions, and I did want to know how everything tied together--which you do not find out until the end.  So I decided to give it a rating of a 3. I probably would rate it 3 1/2.  I would read something else by this author merely because her work is not objectionable.  I think the only thing I wish could have been left out was the bit about hypnosis, but it is interesting to note how the author worked that section out--possibly not how you think she would.  It is an easy enough book to read, and it was certainly refreshing for a change.


View all my reviews



About the Author
In her own words...

I have always been a writer. Every stressful, boring, or exciting situation in my life I handled with the help of pen and paper.
When my husband and I decided to pack up our three small children and move across country from North Carolina to Washington so that we could both return to college—I wrote.
After I attended one quarter at the University of Washington and discovered that I was pregnant with our fourth child—I wrote.
As I went about my busy life filled with schoolwork, children, bills, housework, and all the other time-stealing activities usual to a woman who was juggling family and college—I wrote.
Writing was my refuge, my therapy, the one thing that could return me to the world of the sane when things became overwhelming. I didn’t understand how or why, but I knew it was necessary, and often fun!
I didn’t feel the need to share what I wrote with other people until I finished writing the three books of Behold the Eye trilogy. That’s when I found out that the books had minds of their own and refused to remain in solitary confinement. They demanded to be published, to be read, to be shared.
Braumaru, the eldest of the three, wouldn’t shut up about publishing.
I tried to make Braumaru understand. I said, “No, it isn’t necessary to publish. You should just be happy that I wrote you.”
That is when Cerulea butted in and said that it was not fair that they would not be published. They could only live if they were read.
I replied, “Life is often not fair. Besides, I’ll read you.”
Viridia just glared at me.
“Don’t look at me that way,” I said defiantly, “publishing is a lot of hard work! I have other things I need to do.”

I fought long and hard, but I was outnumbered.
Just between you and me, I’m glad I lost the battle to those bossy little books. They were right.
In case you are interested, I probably should mention that I was reared in Memphis, Tennessee, but I have traveled across states and across career fields. I have sold artwork to businesses, produced web content for a high tech company, performed story time as a Children’s Librarian…and taught 6th graders how to be safe on the Web. But the most fulfilling of all are my times at home, where I enjoy the title of Mother (and sometimes Mommy, Mom, or even ‘Hey Lady’).
But no matter where I am found, at home, office, or library, I know and understand the value of reading and writing. I truly love books, and want to share that love of books with others.
I received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology (focusing on Archaeology) and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. I live in Seattle with my wonderful husband and four lovely daughters, who are all just enough short of perfection to make life interesting.
If you want to contact me, or you have comments about one of my books, you can reach me through my publishers. I would love to hear from you!
Veronica Tabares
C/O Sun Break Publishing
1037 NE 65th St. #164
Seattle, WA 98115
or email me directly at veronicatabares@hotmail.com.

Twinkle Tuesday--Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter Review and Giveaway (Ends 10/28) U.S./Canada

This is a very special product to me indeed.  This was one of the first products I ever tried from Tropical Traditions!  If you have spent any time in the blogosphere, you have probably heard of Tropical Traditions.  They sell all sorts of organic foods, cleaners, personal care products, and more.  If it says Tropical Traditions, rest assured--you are getting high quality at a reasonable price.

I had the privilege of reviewing Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Peanut Butter.  Let me say up front that if you like coconut and peanut butter, this product is for you!  I love the fact that it is creamy and distinctive.  It contains only two ingredients--organic peanuts and organic coconut.  It does not have any sweetener--I am so glad of that.  I often find that even grocery store "organic" peanut butters are way too sweet. I think that when a sweetener is added to peanut butter, it cuts down on the true peanut flavor.  Not so with Tropical Traditions.

I am a health conscious person--I still have a little bit of weight to lose.  I love peanut butter, but oftentimes, even the "natural" peanut butter has a lot of unhealthy fat.  This coconut peanut butter is healthier than your typical peanut butter.  I feel like I can have my peanut butter and eat it too!  And not get fat!!

If I had one criticism, it is the fact that this peanut butter tends to be runny. Especially if used on something warm.  But I really don't mind.  If it spills off of my toast or muffin onto the plate, I just get "mop" up the peanut butter with my bread!  You won't hear me complaining.

The best part is that Tropical Traditions has agreed to give away a container of Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter to one of my U.S./Canadian readers.  All you will need to do is enter on the rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway ends October 28 at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.  Please note that Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this Tropical Traditions sponsored blog giveaway.



Monday, September 26, 2011

This Day in History September 27, 1514

I really could use what was not discovered by the explorer associated with this day in history.  Ever hear of Juan Ponce de Leon? He was the explorer from Spain who set out to discover the Fountain of Youth.  It was on this day in 1514 that he was granted a second patent to settle the islands of Bimini and Florida.  His first patent had expired, and that is when he discovered and populated Bimini.  He had already founded modern day St. Augustine in Florida.  He truly thought he had discovered the mythical islands of Bimini and thus the fountain of youth.  Too bad it was not the case.

And here's the rest of the story.  He landed near Charlotte Harbor on the west coast of Florida.  He and his party were attacked, and Ponce de Leon was wounded by an arrow.  He returned to Cuba, and he died from an infection that resulted from that injury later on that year.  Interesting to note that if he had never gone back, he wouldn't have been injured and died in the way he did.

It is an interesting story surrounding the Fountain of Youth.  The myth was a European story which said that in Asia there was a fountain that was supposedly in the Garden of Eden.  To the Spaniards, America was Asia.  He related the story to the "Indians," but indeed this mythical fountain was never discovered.  It was supposed to refresh and revitalize whomever drank from it. I bet if he had discovered it, it would have been drained in no time!  But then again, who really wants to remain young the rest of their lives?  Let's agree to grow old gracefully!

For more information, check out:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/sep27.html
http://www.notablebiographies.com/Pe-Pu/Ponce-de-Le-n-Juan.html

Music Monday--Kristin Chenoweth Some Lessons Learned CD Review

I am so excited to be reviewing this CD!  You see, I may like Taylor Swift, but she is not the only singer I like!  I first knew of Kristin Chenoweth from Wicked.  If you have never listened to the soundtrack for this fantastic musical, you are missing out!  It is based on the book by the same name, and it is the story of the Wizard of Oz before Dorothy came along.  She plays Glinda, and I so wish I could have seen her in the role.  I have seen the music twice, and it is easily my second favorite stage musical.  (First of Phantom of the Opera of course!)

Kristin has been around all over the place--soap operas, movies, Broadway, inspirational albums, and now country!  Yes, country!  In fact, when she was interviewed on Fox News (think what you will, but yes that is where I get my news), she said her family is more excited than anything else that she is performing at the Grand Old Opry.  Imagine.  She has won all sorts of rewards, and yet the Grand Old Opry excites them more!

I have love Kristin's voice.  She is trained, and I wasn't sure how well she would do on country music.  But I have to tell you that her album does not disappoint.  Her first song is a fantastic opener--I Was Here.  Then she moves on to the only song you may not want your kids to listen to.  It's called I Want Someone but in parentheses it says a word that is an adult word--not a bad word, but it is another word for a female dog.  I liked the song, though.  I didn't feel bad listening to her sing it because of the message of the song--she wants someone to make her feel passionately and someone she can complain about when she wants.

She moves onto a truly touching ballad Fathers and Daughters.  She truly must have grown up with a wonderful father to be able to sing a song like this.  I sure know I could never sing this song.  Then she goes to my favorite light song on the album What Would Dolly Do.  Oh goodness, I love it!  Who doesn't love the queen of country, Dolly Parton?  She has been around forever, and yet she just does not slow down.  It is cute!  And I hear that Dolly likes it.

She then sings a song that concerned me at first.  God and Me almost seems to start out somewhat pointed towards God.  I felt like she was questioning God and calling Him not fair.  The cool thing is that by the end of the song, she has accepted His sovereignty.  When I listened to the song again, it was right where I was, and I understood it totally.

Change is a fine song, but nothing too spectacular.  What More Do You Want is another fine song. Borrowed Angels touched my soul.  I immediately thought of Dale Evans and Roy Rogers.  They had a little girl who was never well and was taken from them after about two years.  Dale Evans wrote a book called Angel Unaware.  (Did you know I once heard her speak at some ladies retreat, and I used to have an autograph from her.  My mom was excited, but I could have cared less.)

Okay, I skipped a song.  Before that song comes I Didn't.  I think a lot of ladies could relate to that song.  The album ends with What If We Never, Mine to Love, and  Lessons Learned.  All good, but it will take more listening to them to decide just how good they are.


Biography from her official site:

Emmy and Tony Award winner and Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee, Kristin Chenoweth effortlessly transitions between stage, television and film with the captivating grace that only she can project. She received rave reviews while starring in the ABC series Pushing Daisies, where she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Pushing Daisies was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award for “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy”. She has appeared in Fox’s comedy Glee, where she played a former student who comes back to help re-energize the Glee club. She also starred as Annabeth Schott on the hit drama The West Wing and guest judged on American Idol.
Many remember her show-stealing, Tony-winning performance in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and her triumphant star turn when she originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, which earned her a leading actress Tony Award nomination.
In addition to her Christmas album, “A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas”, Kristin has released two previous albums entitled, “Let Yourself Go” and “As I Am”. Chenoweth’s fourth CD, “Some Lessons Learned” is scheduled to be released September 13. Her debut single, “I Want Somebody (Bitch About)” is a tongue-in-cheek song about finding unconditional love. All of the songs on Chenoweth’s new album are very personal and explore her life experiences as a woman. The single will be available for sale on May 31.
In the fall, Chenoweth will star in the new ABC show, “Good Christian Belles” as Darlene, alongside Leslie Bibb and Annie Potts. Directed by Alan Poul, “Good Christian Belles” centers on a recently divorced mother of two who, to get a fresh start, moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew up to find herself in the whirling midst of salacious gossip, Botox, and fraud.
Kristin recently wrapped production of her next movie "Ed Zwick's Family Weekend”. The film, written by Matt K. Turner, centers around a disgruntled teenager's attempts to get attention from her dysfunctional family. Kristin was most recently seen on Broadway as Fran Kubelik in the revival of “Promises, Promises” starring alongside Sean Hayes at the Broadway theater. ”Promises, Promises” is a unique and popular part of the musical theater canon which was on stage for the first time in over forty years.
Chenoweth was also recently seen in the Disney movie “You Again” alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Kristen Bell. She is the voice of Rosetta in Walt Disney Picture’s “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” and “The Great Fairy Rescue”.
Kristin wrote an uplifting candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, “A Little Bit Wicked”, which was released by Simon & Schuster in April 2009 and debuted at # 12 on the New York Times Hardcover Non Fiction Best Seller List.
Kristin’s stage credits include: Kern and Hammerstein’s rarely seen 1932 musical Music in the Air, the second Encores! production of New York City Center’s 2008-09 season. She starred in Stairway to Paradise, an original Encores! production celebrating the great Broadway revue. Commemorating the centennial anniversary of the first Ziegfeld Follies, Kristin concluded New York City Center’s 2007 season with beloved Broadway numbers from the early 20th century. Ms. Chenoweth starred in the critically successful and highly lauded limited-engagement of The Apple Tree at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54 and also performed in the Broadway comedy Epic Proportions and in the Kander and Ebb musical Steel Pier, for which she won a Theatre World award. She also performed in an Off-Broadway production of Moliere’s Scapin for the Roundabout Theatre Company and Nora Ephron’s Love Loss and What I Wore.

A veteran of the concert scene, Kristin took the stage in a solo sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall in 2004 and continues to tour the country. Chenoweth also joined the musical group IL Divo and international violin virtuoso, Vanessa Mae on IL Divo’s for their limited-run holiday tour in 2009. She performed her solo concert at Sam Mendes’s acclaimed Donmar Warehouse as part of the Divas at Donmar series. The show received glowing reviews. Following her show in London, Chenoweth has had numerous collaborations with various symphonies, including The New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. One of her proudest accomplishments was having the privilege to perform Bernstein’s Candide at Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic. Other performances include her sold-out Los Angeles solo debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, an evening at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Washington National Opera’s 50th Anniversary Gala with Placido Domingo. She also had the honor of playing a sold out solo concert at the famed Metropolitan Opera House.
TV: April Rhodes, in Fox’s hit show Glee. E.J. Baxter, in the Lifetime Original Movie The Twelve Men of Christmas as part of the Network’s annual Fa La La La Lifetime programming event. Marian Paroo, in ABC’s movie version of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man, and Lily St. Regis in the television adaptation of Annie and Mrs. Noodle on Sesame Street. Kristin also starred in her own series Kristin for NBC and Fox’s animated series Sit Down, Shut Up and was seen in the season finale of ABC’s hit comedy Ugly Betty.
FILM: Deck the Halls with Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick, RV with Robin Williams, Bewitched with Nicole Kidman, Running with Scissors with Annette Bening, and The Pink Panther with Steve Martin. Her film credits also include a cameo in Stranger Than Fiction with Emma Thompson. Kristin starred alongside Cheryl Hines and Jeff Daniels in the animated film Space Chimps for Twentieth Century Fox. She also starred in the independent film, Into Temptation, directed by Sundance filmmaker Patrick Coyle opposite Jeremy Sisto.





Stanley Seagull Blog Tour (Martha Hill, Guest Post)

Book Summary
Meet a young seagull named Stanley. Follow him as he wanders far from home and tries to find his way back. Join Stanley on his journey as he learns how humans affect the balance of nature.






Because this book is a children's book, I would like to welcome my daughter, Martha Hill, who has written her very first book review.



Stanley SeagullStanley Seagull by Cathy Mazur
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"There were not any real "stand-out" parts in this book for me.  I liked that for each page you read, you got to see two really neat pictures.  Since I was reading on a Kindle, the pictures were in black and white, but I still enjoyed them.  I believe this book would appeal to children younger than I am because it was very easy for me to read.  The most exciting part about this book is that it was the first book I ever read on my very own Kindle!  This is also the first review I ever wrote!"

Submitted by my eight-year-old daughter

This book was provided free to me in exchange for my review.  All opinions are 100 percent mine.



View all my reviews




Cathy Mazur's Bio:

Born in Scranton, Pa., Cathy Mazur is the daughter of Gary and Catherine H. Errico. She was educated in the Dunmore public school system and graduated from Dunmore High School in 1971. She received a bachelor’s degree in Library Science from Mansfield State College in 1975. She received a Reading Specialist Certificate from the University of Scranton in 1978. Cathy was employed as an elementary school librarian for the Mid Valley School District from 1975 until her retirement in 2010. While at Mid Valley, she instituted and coordinated the RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) program for 33 years helping students to develop a love of reading outside the classroom. Cathy served on the Board of Directors for the Valley Community Library in Peckville, Pa. for over 20 years acting as president for one year and board secretary for 19 years. She presently serves on the library’s Developmental Committee chairing various fundraising events. She resides in Dickson City, Pa. with Frank, her husband of 31 years. They are the parents of two children, Gary, 27 and Gia, 19. Now in her retirement, she is focused on writing books for children like Stanley Seagull.


Colleen Gedrich's Bio
Colleen Gedrich, a lifelong resident Throop, Pa., earned a BFA in illustration from Marywood Universityin 2002. She is a freelance illustrator specializing in animal-themed work. She enjoys creating her art using mostly watercolor and pastel. As a dedicated animal rights activist and full-time program coordinator for International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR), Colleen lives her dream of joining her passions for animals and art to promote a more harmonious world with a touch of beauty. Recent works produced by Colleen include t-shirt and invitation designs, children’s book illustrations (A Different Kind of Hero), and book covers (With God There Is Hope). Colleen has also teamed up with her very talented artist mother, Kathy Holmes Gedrich, and paints murals for children’s nurseries.

Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 9780983741817
Pages: 32
Release: July 2011

Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 9780983741800
Pages: 32
Release: July 2011

Hardcover buy link: ($16.95)
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Stanley-Seagull/Cathy-Mazur/e/9780983741817

Paperback buy link: ($7.95)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983741808?ie=UTF8&tag=tributebooks-20

Kindle buy link: ($2.99)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058VALVY?ie=UTF8&tag=tributebooks-20

Nook buy link: 
($4.95)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stanley-seagull-cathy-mazur/1103999501?ean=2940012811202&itm=2&usri=stanley%2bseagull

iPad buy link: 
($4.99)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/stanley-seagull/id450437474?mt=11

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This Day in History September 26, 1969

Does this bring back memories?  I would say the vast majority of people in the United States have spent some time in their lives watching this show.  I grew up on it.  I probably all the shows made more than once, and I just didn't get tired of them.

On this day in 1969, The Brady Bunch premiered.  Indeed the show has become an American icon, and it is considered one of the most important shows of the 1970's.  This show portrayed wholesome family life during a time of political and social unrest.  Generally, controversial topics were avoided, and the blended family got along quite well.

The show ran for 177 episodes, and its last original episode aired August 30, 1974.  As I mentioned, reruns are what has continued to keep this show a hit.  There have been all sorts of spin-offs and movies from this show.  According to Florence Henderson (Mrs. Brady), she and the cast receive no revenue from syndication.  Pretty sad, eh?  I won't go into all the "garbage" that came out concerning the show.  I know there were all kinds of affairs between cast members and more, but I really don't care.

What I care about is that even now, this show is a retreat to a simpler, kinder time in history when you didn't have to worry about your children seeing sex, violence, and profanity on TV.  I don't think my daughter has seen this show yet, but I know that when she does, she will enjoy it.  I get so upset with TV nowadays.  In fact, I was just saying to my mom tonight that a few of the shows coming out this season sound good or cute, but they are ruined with sex and profanity.  Will we ever return to a time when TV was clean and wholesome?  Probably not, but I can dream.

For more information, check out this site.

Solution Sunday--Lion King in 3D Review

Today, my daughter, her friend, my mom and I saw Lion King in 3D, and I give it a very high recommendation.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was worth it to see in the theater.

This movie has an interesting story with me.  When I was married, my then husband did not mind taking me to see the current Disney film.  I have enjoyed Disney animated films for as long as I can remember.  And what made this one different is that I didn't know the story.  Usually Disney would bring fairy tales to the screen that were well known.  This one was not.

When my then husband and I went to see this film, I absolutely loved it. He did not because it had African religion in it.  In fact, I think he wanted to leave in the middle of the film.  I think it was the last time he took me to a Disney film (or any film at all).  But I never forgot it.

When my daughter was about three, she and I went to see Lion King live on stage, and it was an unforgettable experience.  If you ever get the chance to see it on stage, definitely do it!

I knew that Lion King was going to be out of the theater before too long, and so I made the decision to take my daughter and her friend to see it today.  I decided to ask my mom to go too, and she agreed.  Much to my surprise.  My mom doesn't usually go to films, and she doesn't like animation.  But she decided to give it a go.

My mom had never seen a 3D movie in the theater, at least in recent years.  While Lion King's 3D technology cannot match the films that are made now that are originally in 3D, I was impressed.  And my mom was, too.  She loved the story, and she really was fascinated by the 3D.  I had forgotten how good this film was.  And this comes from my mother who can't stand animation!  That must tell you something.

If you are going to see it in the theater, act fast.  I think Thursday is its last day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Day in History September 25, 1979

This brings back old memories since I am telling you about music history today.  On this date in 1979, the musical Evita opened on Broadway.  This musical was the third and final collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.  Their previous works included Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I never have seen this musical live, but I saw the movie version with Madonna and Antonio Banderras.

This musical is the story of Eva Peron, the former first lady of Argentina who died of cancer back in the 1940's.  This is a musical that Argentina refuses to acknowledge claiming that it is not a true representation of the life of the revered Eva.  I have not researched the story of her life enough to make a judgment call, but I would say that there has to be some truth to the story.  The musical is a rock opera--told almost entirely through song and dance.  Patti LuPone was the original Broadway Eva Peron. I had no idea of this when I watched her short-lived TV show Life Goes On about a boy with Down's Syndrome (I absolutely loved that show and wished it had not ended so soon!).

In total, the show ran 1567 performances ending June 26, 1983.  While I know that it does deal with adult themes and has some language issues, I don't see either as being something that keeps me from watching it.  The language is very mild, and thankfully there are no sex scenes. If you ever get a chance to see the movie, I would recommend it.  I am not a Madonna fan, but I liked her in this film.

For more information, check out these sites:
http://www.rnh.com/show/34/Evita
http://broadwayworld.com/bwidb/productions/Evita_4426/



And my favorite:

Satisfied Saturday--Into the Swing of Things (9/24-10/1)

Well, I worked every day this week, and we had a few changes that I honestly cannot recall.  Fro last week's recipes, we will probably make the lasagna and maybe the desserts.  From a couple weeks ago, we'll go with the Crock Pot Pork and Apples.

But we will have a few original recipes, so here goes:

Meal 1:  Quick Chicken and Noodle Stir Fry
We have top ramen and stir fry veggies that we need to use up!

Meal 2:  Ham and Cheese Quesadillas
No cantaloupe, rice and beans



Dessert--My mom's birthday:  Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie 


Meal 3:  Salami Panini

I'm making crock pot lasagna for my mom from one of the other weeks.

Telling Lies by Cathi Stoller Blog Tour

How many lies does it take to get away with murder?

When a chance encounter in Florence’s Uffizi Museum plunges Women Now editor Laurel Imperiole and private investigator Helen McCorkendale into an investigation of missing persons and stolen Nazi art, the women find themselves ensnared in a deadly maze of greed and deceit.

Could the man Laurel bumped into have been Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and friend who perished in theWorld Trade Center on 9/11? Was it possible he was still alive and had disappeared without a trace?

Laurel, who was vacationing in Italy with her boyfriend, Aaron Gerrad, a New York City detective, is thoroughly shaken by the experience of seemingly meeting a dead man. Sargasso was supposedly killed that day during a meeting regarding the sale of a 150 million dollar painting between a Japanese billionaire and a Wall Street tycoon. Determined to get to the bottom of things, she and Helen investigate in Italy and in New York.

As she delves deeper, Laurel leaves the truth behind, telling lies to Aaron about her actions and the liaison she’s formed with Lior Stern, an Israeli Mossad agent with an agenda of his own. One lie leads to another, entangling everyone and everything the women encounter, including murder and the painting at the heart of the affair.

Searching for answers, Laurel and Helen thread their way through a sinister skein of lies that take them on a whirlwind journey that could end in death.






Telling LiesTelling Lies by Cathi Stoler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that the introduction portion of this book truly captured my interest.  Any time a book uses 9/11 as a springboard for a story, I think I become intrigued.  Could someone truly have survived 9/11 and faked his own death?  I just had to keep reading to find out!



I enjoyed the way that the author wrote the chapters because when I got to the end of one chapter, she often left me hanging.  I wanted to read on.  And sometimes she would write something about a certain character's predicament, and it would be several chapters later before that character's issue was resolved.  It was a fast-paced book, and it kept my interest all the way to the end.  I just had to know how it ended!




My disappointment with the book was two-fold.  I found Laurel a little too "dumb" to be in the position she was.  Although she was investigating the situation, and it was clear that she was right, she made some costly mistakes that I don't think most women would have made.  I actually wished that her part of the story had ended a little differently than it did.  I became quite annoyed with her, and I didn't always find her believable.




My other disappointment was the abundance of profanity.  This is a constant  problem with contemporary fiction, and generally I don't complain unless the words are used too much.  In the beginning, I was hoping that the author would only use these words once in a while, but it seemed like the amount of these words increased.  It is a pet peeve of mine, so for me, it detracted from the story.




In spite of these disappointments, I would certainly be willing to read something else by this author because she is definitely an author that writes a well-crafted story.




I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are 100 percent mine.



View all my reviews






Cathi Stoler's Bio:
Cathi Stoler was an award-winning advertising copywriter. Telling Lies is her first mystery/suspense novel. Other novels in this series will include Keeping Secrets, which delves into the subject of hidden identity, and, The Hard Way, a story about the international diamond smuggling. She has also written several short stories including Fatal Flaw, which was published online this April at Beat To A Pulp andOut of Luck, which will be included in the upcoming New York Sisters in Crime anthology, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices. In addition to Sisters in Crime, Cathi is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Women of Mystery.

Fall Into Reading Challenge 2011

Well, I am doing it again this year.  I did it last year, and it was the first reading challenge I did.  I know I am way behind this year on reading challenges, but I am really not worried.  Live and learn.  And this is one reading challenge I know I can do.

I will be doing almost nothing but reading review books--I have so many to do!  I'm going to list my books that I hope to have read by the time fall ends on December 21.

My Book List:
Something Inside Me by Chitoka Webb
Only You, Sierra by Robin Jones Gunn
Barefoot in November by Benjamin J. Carey
The Magic Strand by Diana Layman
My Dear Jenny by Chris Dolley
Pieces of Eight by Michael Reed
Anaszi Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke
Mayan Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke
Montezuma Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke
Black Purse by Stephanie Sellers
Find the Upside of the Down Times by Dr. Rob Pennington
The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by John Doe
Blaze of Glory by M. Garzon
Why God Matters by Karina Lumbert Fabian
God's Story Your Story by Max Lucado

I am sure this will not be the final list, but this is my list as of now.  I will certainly be busy, but with the Lord's help, I will do it!

Wee Pray With Me Ipad/Iphone/Ipod App Promotional Codes

With the Ipad 2 giveaway winding down soon, I thought it might be a good time to provide my readers with some promotional codes for a wonderful app called Wee Pray With Me. Dawn, a blogger friend of mine, has  created and provided these for us.  So here they are:
L9RWEPLT44JE
7JP4WX9PHHR3
M4FRYK7PJETX
P34HEMR6KE67



IPAD 2/$550 Cash Giveaway Hop Hosted by Measuring Flower (and more!)

I wanted to let everyone know that I am participating in a fantastic giveaway from October 17-31.  The current Ipad 2 giveaway in which I am participating has been going so well (I am now over 1000 followers!! and nearly 1300 facebook fans!) that I decided to join another one.  Directly from Measuring Flower's blog post about it, here is the information:


If you are a blogger and are interested in participating in this awesome giveaway and gaining a ton of traffic, here are the details! You must...
  1. Have a family-friendly blog.
  2. Remit the $15 participation fee via PayPal (I will email you the address to which to remit payment to; this is what will pay for the iPad2/$550 cash and hopefully for some advertising of the event as well).
  3. Submit your GFC follow link (a.k.a. your blog's home page) for a mandatory entry plus ONE and only ONE other link (to your Twitter profile, Facebook fan page, email subscription, etc.) for an optional entry. That's right--to make entering simple for entrants, each blog is only allowed their GFC and one other link (making 2 links total per blog).
  4. Write a post about the giveaway and include the Rafflecopter form for others to enter (participants will receive this code at a later date).
  5. Schedule said post (item #4) to publish on October 17, 2011, at 12:01 AM EST and inform your readers that the deadline to enter is October 31, 2011, at 11:59 PM EST.
  6. Display the event's button or banner on your sidebar or above the fold on your blog (but NOT in a scrolling widget as few people will see it there; the more people who see the button/banner, the more traffic).
There is a 45 participating blog cap on this event and order is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so sign up as soon as possible to claim your spot!


A couple of notes:
  • As a participating blogger, you will NOT be allowed to enter the iPad2/$550 cash giveaway (sorry!). But you will be able to take full advantage of all the numbers it boosts!
  • Please do blog and share with your "likers", followers, and those you network with about this event! The more who know, the more traffic!
Event Updates

Bloggers, if you would like to know of upcoming events (including future Tablet Times) hosted by Measuring Flower, please fill out THIS FORM for Event Updates.


If you're going to do it,  bloggers, do it now!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Day in History September 24, 1936

What feelings does this image evoke?  Hopefully nice ones.  It sure does me.  I grew up on the Muppets, and later on Sesame Street.  (I said I was weird! I didn't start watching Sesame Street until I was in third grade!)
My mom never could stand them, but it didn't keep my from watching them.  And my daughter loves them, too.  I think it is easy to say that the Muppets are timeless.

His full name was James Maury Henson, and he was born on this date in 1936 in Greenville, Mississippi.  Henson remembered having a happy childhood in which he explored his artistic interests and explored the countryside.  His childhood friend, Kermit, was the inspiration behind his most famous puppet.

When he was in fifth grade, the family moved to Maryland which paved the way for his earliest TV appearances in Washington D.C.  In high school, he appeared with puppets on a Saturday morning kids show.  He turned professional while in college when he was hired to do a 5-minute late night show called "Sam and Friends."  He was partnered with Jane Nebel, and it must have been a good partnership for they later married.

Henson coined the term "muppets," a combination of the words puppet  and marionette.  Since wood was not expressive, he chose to use flexible, foam-covered rubber to fashion his muppets. He got much exposure through commercials and various variety shows.  He founded Muppets Inc. in 1961.

In 1963, the Muppets moved to New York.  They continued to make appearances on various TV shows and even some short films.  It was the launch of Sesame Street in 1969 that made the Muppets a household name.  Success continued with the launch of his Muppet Show on TV in 1976, and it was still highly popular when he stopped production in 1981.  1979 saw the first full-length film The Muppet Movie, and many more followed (and still continue today).

I still remember the day that I found out that Jim Henson died.  May 16, 1990, he died of pneumonia, and almost immediately, the muppets released a tribute show on TV.  The hardest thing to get used to was the voice of Kermit.  Jim Henson had always been his voice, and it took me a while to get used to not hearing the familiar voice.  I don't notice it so much now--I guess enough years have passed.

So hard to pick a video to post here.  There are so many!!





If you would like more information, check out these sites:
http://www.olemiss.edu/mwp/dir/henson_jim/index.html
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=2210
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